Cate Le Bon

by Kelly McClure

Cate Le Bon’s album Me Oh My was released in the states last month, and we’re still thinking about it. That’s a great sign! Our writer Katie Bain put together her thoughts on the album, and here they are …

Exploring the folk tendencies of the minor keys, Wales’ Cate Le Bon presents haunting, confidently arranged songs of love and existence on her debut Me Oh My. Hypnotic in its intensity, the music hinges on Le Bon’s voice, birdlike in its ability to swing deep into the lower registers, evoking Nico at her most menacing and then floating higher in reaches for pretty, if still unsettling, softness. Darkness lingers under even the gentlest melodies.

 Le Bon’s voice sets the precedent for the album’s sonically and thematically loud/soft, light/dark juxtapositions, evident in stunner tracks like “Burn Until the End.” Le Bon rules both sides with a style evoking the melancholic tendencies of early Neil Young, with a similar style of strident guitar riffs that materialize like unexpected thunderstorms and propel the music forward with rhythmic strength. It’s the balance of these rock moments and a gentle acoustic finesse that culminates to My Oh My’s cohesive tangibility; the sound of fingertips moving across guitar necks is nearly palpable.

 Overall, Me Oh My captures an epic wistfulness, and when Le Bon sings that “these are hard times to fall in love,” it feels right to sigh heavily and believe her. [katie bain]



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