Cate Le Bon - Crab Day LP
Label: Drag City
When the Drinks album came out a while back, we were enamored by the Welsh half of that duo – the beguiling Cate Le Bon. And little did we know that she had three previous solo albums under her belt. So, Crab Day is our first exposure to her solo work; and is it quite the gem of eccentric avant-pop. The title references an imagined holiday by Le Bon's niece, who preferred celebrating Crab Day to April Fool's Day. The tales for her Crab Day spiral out as off-kilter / avant-psych tunes that hark to the discomforting jubilation that Syd Barrett would muster on his solo records. Many of the arrangements are sharply staccato in the rhythms that lock the bass, drum, piano, and even a xylophone onto a singular motorik, yet humanly played beat. The guitars forming op-art / phase patterns of jangly, rhythmic dissonance all of which allows for Le Bon's languid voice to glide effortlessly atop. As a chanteuse, she's not too far from Nico or Laetitia Sadier in terms of the cool and detached attitude she applies to her songs, though Le Bon is far more of a playful character.