I can't quite remember when or how I found out about Cate Le Bon, but I remember being excited when I did. I remember thinking "YES. This is exactly what I've been looking for."
Minimal pop with a touch of fuzzy '60s psychedelia. Cate is from Wales, and her accent seemed to add to the formula. Her music reminded me of The Kinks, or rather the feeling I got from listening to them; the feeling of experiencing a gem from the past. The kind of record you put on and get to live in it's world for a little while.
After further listening, I found that maybe her albums ("Me Oh My" and "CYRK" are what I was listening to) didn't quite measure up to the pop perfection of The Kinks. Some of the songs had a certain oddness to them that left me feeling a little empty after hearing her more polished songs.
Cate Le Bon recently came out with a new album, "Mug Museum" and after taking a listen, I've realized that none of her songs (even on the new album) are really polished; but that's what makes them hers. That's what makes them charming. Her music is odd in an interesting way, as if she's leading you through an exploration of her subconscious - through her world. There's beauty in raw ideas and the feeling of a song can easily get lost in trying to perfect it. I appreciate an artist who values exploration and believes in her ideas so much, that she can let them be and put them out there with oddities and all. (Afterall, this is what makes The Beach Boys' "Smiley Smile" such a masterpiece.. Just sayin')
I love this video for her song off the new album "Are You With Me Now?"
I also love the title of her album "Mug Museum" - especially after reading that by "mug" she meant the cup that holds your coffee (and not the weird slang word for face). She tied that in nicely with this music video.
I also thought I'd share the first track of the album, " I Can't Help You," which should give you an idea of the maze-like qualities that her songs sometimes embody. The guitars on this one remind me of the band Television.
And just one more...
"Puts Me to Work" is one of the first songs of hers that I heard and I just discovered this adorable video for it:
Let Cate Le Bon be a reminder that your ideas are their own work of art.