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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, May 18th, 2016

Cate Le Bon: Crab Day

cateCate Le Bon
Crab Day
(Drag City)

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“It doesn’t pay to sing your songs,” Welsh songstress Cate Le Bon sings on the title track of her fourth album. It’s hard to take that statement as a complaint as she’s backed up with jangly guitars and driving drums. Indeed, Crab Day seems to be an album all about contrast. Though the instrumentation calls back to the heyday of the psychedelic ’60s, there’s anxiety brewing beneath the surface within the lyrics. “Wonderful” is a delightfully strange song, with marimba providing a pretty contrast to the angular guitars and howling horns. The lyrics aren’t narrative by any means, though lines like “television will keep us together” and “my heart’s in my liver” are surprisingly insightful. Indeed, so many of Le Bon’s images are what stand out from her writing. “I’m a Dirty Attic” not only has a clever title, but the line “I’m a body of dreams for you” fleshes out the premise so well. “I Was Born on the Wrong Day” is a surprisingly catchy, piano-driven track, and “We Might Revolve” sounds like it was ripped from the soundtrack of a retro spy movie. Cate Le Bon’s experimentation is based around practical instruments rather than digital wizardry, and the result is an album that is strange but familiar, aged but timeless.

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Cate Le Bon: Crab Day