Album of the Week: Cate Le Bon | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, November 22nd, 2019  

Album of the Week: Cate Le Bon

Hayden Thorpe Is the Runner-up (Plus Stream New Albums from Flying Lotus, Mavis Staples, Black Mountain, Morrissey, and More)

May 24, 2019
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Welsh singer/songwriter/guitarist Cate Le Bon has released a new album, Reward, today via Mexican Summer and it's our Album of the Week. Find more info on the album below, as well as on a strong runner-up that was almost our Album of the Week, Hayden Thorpe's Diviner. Below that are streams of other notable albums released today.

Cate Le Bon: Reward (Mexican Summer)

Cate Le Bon released a new album, Reward, today via Mexican Summer. Le Bon spent a year living in isolation in the Lake District in the UK, by day making wood furniture and by night playing piano and writing songs. "There's a strange romanticism to going a little bit crazy and playing the piano to yourself and singing into the night," Le Bon said in a previous press release.

Of the album title, Le Bon said: "People hear the word 'reward' and they think that it's a positive word, and to me it's quite a sinister word in that it depends on the relationship between the giver and the receiver. I feel like it's really indicative of the times we're living in where words are used as slogans, and everything is slowly losing its meaning." 

The album features Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, H. Hawkline, and Samur Khouja. The latter co-produced Reward with Le Bon.

Previously Le Bon shared Reward's first single, "Daylight Matters," which was one of our Songs of the Week, as well as a video for "Daylight Matters." Then she shared another new song from the album, "Home to You," via a video for the track. Le Bon doesn't feature in the video directed by Phil Collins (no, not that Phil Collins). It was filmed in Lunik IX neighborhood of Košice (Eastern Slovakia), which houses a Roma community who, as a press release states, "due to successive governmental and municipal policies, often live in slums and on isolated, dilapidated estates." "Home to You" was our #1 Song of the Week. Then she shared another song from the album, "The Light" (which was also one of our Songs of the Week).

In terms of her solo work, Reward is the follow-up to 2016's Crab Day, although last year she released Hippo Lite, her second album with DRINKS, a collaboration with Tim Presley of White Fence. Le Bon also produced Deerhunter's recent album.

Cate Le Bon Tour Dates:

Fri. May 24 - Rouen, FR @ Rush Festival
Sat. May 25 - Toulouse, FR @ Discipline Festival
Sun. May 26 - Madrid, ES @ Independance Club
Mon. May 27 - Donostia, ES @ Dabadaba
Tue. May 28 - Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound Festival
Wed. May 29 - Bordeaux, FR @ iBoat
Fri. May 31 - Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret Festival
Sat. June 1 - Neustrelitz, DE @ Immergut Festival
Sun. June 2 - Berlin, DE @ Kantine Am Berghain
Mon. June 3 - Copenhagen, DK @ Den Grå Hal (w/ Deerhunter)
Tue. June 4 - Aarhus, DK @ Tape
Thu. June 6 - Cologne, DE @ Bumann & SOHN
Fri. June 7 - Brussels, BE @ Les Ateliers Claus
Sat. June 8 - Paris, FR @ Villette Sonique
Mon. June 10 - London, UK @ Village Underground
Sat. June 22 - Calgary, AB @ Sled Island Festival
Tue. June 25 - Kingston, NY @ BSP Kingston
Wed. June 26 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
Thu. June 27 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Fri. June 28 - Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
Sat. June 29 - North Adams, MA @ Solid Sound Festival
Sun. June 30 - Somerville, MA @ ONCE Lounge
Fri. July 5 - Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet's
Sat. July 6 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Getty Center
Sun. July 7 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Moe's Alley
Tue. July 9 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Fri. July 12 - Seattle, WA @ Doug Fir Lounge
Sat. July 13 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile Cafe
Thu. July 18 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue (w/ Parquet Courts)
Fri. July 19 - Chicago, IL - Constellation
Sat. July 20 - Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Festival
Fri. Aug. 23 - Bethesda, UK @ Neuadd Ogwen
Sat. Aug. 24 - West Lothian, UK @ Jupiter Rising Festival
Sun. Aug. 25 - Edinburgh, UK @ Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Tue. Aug. 27 - Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
Wed. Aug. 28 - Leeds, UK @ Riley Smith Theatre
Thu. Aug. 29 - Cardiff, UK @ Portland House
Sun. Sept. 1 - Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival

www.catelebon.com

Album of the Week Runner-up:

Hayden Thorpe: Diviner (Domino)

Hayden Thorpe, formerly the singer for British art-rockers Wild Beasts, has released his debut solo album, Diviner, today via Domino.

In 2017 Wild Beasts announced their breakup in a typed up statement, signed by the band and posted to Instagram. That was followed by a final EP, Punk Drunk and Trembling, three farewell concerts in February 2018, and a final album, February 2018's live in the studio release Last Night All My Dreams Came True (which featured new interpretations of songs from across their catalogue).

Diviner was written in California, Cornwall, and at Thorpe's home in London.

A previous press release described the album as such: "Diviner is a deeply emotional album: lyrically generous in its candid tone and self-awareness, the melodies resonant with sense memory. The album feels like a startling departure from Thorpe's previous work with Wild Beasts and also unlike anything else being made at the moment."

Thorpe had this to say about the album in the previous press release: "My adulthood was based on a certain belief system, a band, a family. When it shifted entirely, I had a ghost I had to find a new haunt for.... I believe in the medicinal properties of songs. I believe in their healing properties, Songs defy time, they don't erode or denature, they come with you and reform anew in your mind as and when you need them.... I broke up with myself. So this is a break-up album, but not about a relationship. It's a break-up from a past self, it's a breakup from the old idea of yourself and therefore every relationship, of all kinds, that you've ever had."

Thorpe had this to say about the album's title track in a previous press release: "'Diviner' became the first song and the divining rod for what was going to be next. There are, if we can wait for them, rare days of alignment. 'Diviner' was written on such a day, my birthday of all days. The curtains were drawn for a while, I went inside. To say I'm delighted to see daylight would be an understatement."

Back in February Thorpe shared the album's title track, "Diviner," via a video (it was one of our Songs of the Week). When the album was announced in April he shared another new song from it, "Love Crimes," via a video for the track (it was #2 on our Songs of the Week list). Then he shared another song from it, "Earthly Needs."

Read our 2018 interview with Hayden Thorpe about the breakup of Wild Beasts and the band's legacy.

Hayden Thorpe Tour Dates:

May 25 - London, UK - Rough Trade East ^
May 27 - Brighton, UK - Resident Music ^
May 28 - Kingston, UK - Banquet Records ^
May 29 - Cardiff, Wales - Spillers Records ^
May 30 - Sheffield, UK - Bear Tree Records ^
May 31 - Leeds, UK - Jumbo Records ^
June 3 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC ^
June 4 - Brooklyn, NY *
June 6 - Los Angeles, CA *

* denotes Piano Room Sessions, RSVP-only here
^ denotes in-store performances, free

www.twitter.com/Hayden_Thorpe 

Also Released This Week:

Black Mountain: Destroyer (Jajaguwar)

Flying Lotus: Flamagra (Warp)

Morrissey: California Son (BMG)

Sebadoh: Act Surprised (Dangerbird)

Mavis Staples: We Get By (ANTI-)

Faye Webster: Atlanta Millionaires Club (Secretly Canadian)

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