Cate Le Bon

Crab Day

Drag City

Apr 19, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


There's greater beauty in imagination than there is in information, and Cate Le Bon knows it. "Crab Day is an old holiday. Crab Day is a new holiday. Crab Day isn't a holiday at all," she says of her new album in its press materials, and it would seem that Le Bon applies one simple but effective ethos to her music and the discussion around it alike: include nothing that could be left out and nothing that isn't certain to provoke questions. Just as she extracts the mundanities from the talk around her album, Le Bon ensures that her art exists within a world void of any half-ideas or dreamless nights.

For all its familiar jaunty guitar stabs, Crab Day marks a noticeable transition for Le Bon. On her first solo record written in Los Angeles, to which she relocated in 2013, there's a significant re-casting of dynamics. Her passion for Welsh culture seeped into her formative records almost subconsciously, her twang unmistakable. It would seem that her new home has shifted her focus towards sonically recreating the drastic change of surroundings that she has experienced, rather than digging into her heritage. Melodic highpoint "We Might Resolve" plays The Bad Seeds' rich, daunting organ chimes at twice their native speed, its curiously out of place twee droning guitars leaving just enough room for Le Bon's optimistic cries; it's a strange and beautiful melting pot of fully-realized ideas, cut just short of the point wherein they explain themselves.

There are moments of overt post-punk motifs ("What's Not Mine"), swirling psychedelia ("Find Me"), and even nods to a more primal singer/songwriter blueprint scattered across Crab Day. It's more of an invitation to wonder than it is a self-explanatory LP, which makes for a powerful resonance with Le Bon's exciting new beginning. (www.catelebon.com)

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