The reviews are in. The second album by silver-plated songstress Cate Le Bon, CYRK, is a bona fide critical hit. The cavalcade of comparisons that crop up in every review – John Cale, Nico, Malkmus et al – give you an idea of the regard in which Le Bon is currently held.
So it is with great pleasure that we can announce the Welsh artist is releasing CYRK II via The Control Group. During the CYRK sessions, back at the dawn of 2011, a grand total of 15 songs were recorded. As they began to form as finished articles they naturally pooled into two camps. Whilst CYRK bounds around erratically and unknowingly like a younger sibling, CYRK II is its older sister, bearing songs of a more starkly confessional nature. Although there is a longing and sadness that litters CYRK II, it never truly realizes itself, often hiding in the forest of lyrics and interrupting instrumentation when on the cusp of revealing too much.
CLB ended 2011 with a 2 month stint supporting America’s finest guitar destroyer Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. Her time on the road fostered a confidence and assuredness that is evident in Le Bon’s stage presence: with dead-eye stares, guitars held aloft, and the kind of voice that could sink an iceberg, this really isn’t one you want to miss…
So don’t, to coincide with the release Cate Le Bon returns to North American for her second headline tour of 2012, including a performance at Pop Montreal where she’ll share a stage with with Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier.
What the press is saying about Cate Le Bon:
“There is nobody quite like (Cate Le Bon) and, for me, this is the current show to beat for 2012.” – Brooklyn Vegan
“..the music she creates under her own name more closely resembles The Velvet Underground & Nico relocated from Warhol’s Factory to a Welsh farmhouse, displaying an equal affinity for narcotic melodies and jangle-riff repetition, but with the East Village grime replaced by a certain lambswool coziness.” – Pitchfork
“The earliest contender for album of the year 2012 is the next level second release from one of the most original new voices to emerge in years.”
– Chris Douridas, KCRW-fm / eclectic24
“(Cate)’s of her time, but not content to nibble on the leaves of alternative rock: she follows it right down to the root.” – NY Times
“(Cate) filled her second effort with folk-pop gems that sound like they were recorded on the road during a Barnum and Bailey tour. And with her signature intricate melodies and moods that shift from gloomy to playful, you can bet she keeps us on our toes.” – NYLON
“(Cate) has all the ingredients for what it takes to be the next big thing in female art-pop: a strong persona, a unique voice, and a confident songwriting craft.” – PASTE
A highly successful 2010 was spent touring her debut LP Me Oh My described by Word magazine “As cymbals clash and keyboards whirl, imagine PJ Harvey’s rawness tangling with Super Furry Animals’ prog and a vocalist who forgoes folk soft asides for delicious black humor”. Cate then ended the year contemplating and conjuring up her sophomore release.
Cate entered the studio with the nucleus of a record existing in her head, lyrical ideas swam in ether as did fully formed arrangements, but it wasn’t until she began recording that these disparate ideas were drawn together and her circus tent of a record rose from the gravel ground.
Drawing on her experiences from that heady 12 months, Cate created a collection of pop nuggets that sounded like they’d fallen off the back of a broken carousel, imbued with the playfulness of Faust, Syd Barrett and the tropical melodies of Os Mutantes and stitched together with a foreboding silken lyrical thread.
Existential word play abounds and fuzz fused guitar lines tear through like an angry bee in a CAN as Cate muses on matters of the heart and the magnetic pull of the ocean.
How would you describe the album, CYRK?
Cut a remote island in two and place one half to your ear
What’s a song on your new album, CYRK, you really want people to hear?
‘The Man I Wanted’ because I have finally put down a wooden recorder track that I have not been ridiculed for… as of yet. Also, if you’re listening to it, you’re well into side 2 of the album which means there’s hope you’ll make it to the end.
What’s a lyric you’re particularly proud of on the album?
“On the worst day of his life, he’d still love more things than I like” has been misconstrued as being a melancholic lyric about how miserable I am when actually it was written as a testament to how wonderful and positive the ‘he’ in the song is (its not God, for the record).
09/18 Toronto, ON The Rivoli
09/19 Montreal, QC Ukrainian Federation *
09/21 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
09/22 Brooklyn, NY Union Pool
09/23 Washington DC The Red Palace
09/24 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
09/25 Raleigh, NC Kings Barcade
09/26 Atlanta, GA The Earl
09/28 New Orleans, LA Circle Bar
09/29 Austin, TX Red 7
10/02 Los Angeles, CA Bootleg Theater
*= w/ Laetitia Sadier
Cate Le Bon
(The Control Group)
Street Date: August 21, 2012
1. What Is Worse
2. The Eiggy Sea
3. That Moon
4. Seaside, Lowtide