Cate Le Bon – Crab day (Turnstile)
The latest Le Bon trades in some of the psych in favour of some endearingly wonky pop shapes.
Guitar lines cavort in giddy fashion, falling around the place good natured and wide eyed.
What’s striking amidst the loopiness of the arrangements is the unbeatable quality of the songwriting – short and sharp but giving the impression of taking its time and possessing a sweet almost childlike lyricism.
Take this endlessly fascinating section from 'Find me', a kind of surreal pastoral scene -
Mindful of the host
Colouring the cookbooks in with love
Shimmying your tree
Looking for my morning breakfast
In an absolutely killer first six songs (the single 'Wonderful', 'Love is not love', 'I was born on the wrong day' etc ), 'I’m a dirty attic' makes a compelling case for best song title in the history of pop music.
As you listen further, you discover hidden pockets of unruly horns, mischievous xylophones and buzzing synths. Le Bon’s voice of course is a delight as always, guiding proceedings like some kind of deadpan party entertainer stroke couldn’t give a fuck performance poet.
The way has clearly been paved a little by her compatriots such as Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Super Furry Animals but Le Bon is carving her own space brilliantly. And although post punk shows through in places the closest contemporary reference point I can think of is the avant folk mini opuses of William D Drake or North Sea Radio Orchestra. Especially the 7 minute closer ‘What’s not mine’ with its honks and stabs and dreamy atmospheres.
So wonky and progressive at the same time. Another reason to rejoice.
Adventurous, meandering, catchy as hell, this is a beautiful album that just grows and grows.