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A review of...

Crab Day by Cate Le Bon

April 15, 2016
Adam Millard

Cate Le Bon returns with her 4th album Crab Day, which is her first solo output since 2013's Mug Museum, and much like it's predecessor the recording sessions took place in the US, specifically California, a state which Le Bon seems to have made her home. And it all seems to be going swimmingly for her over the pond if the reviews of her latest live dates are anything to go by. Her new band, which seems to be called "Banana", is actually, pretty similar to the band she's been touring with for years now, but they are making subtly different sounds. 

The songs on this album seem sparser than ever, despite the added instrumentation, coming mainly in the form of Stephen Black's (aka Sweet Baboo's) twisted sax contributions which appear on most tracks here. On the whole though the album is punchy and precise, and comes with that wonky edge that is gradually becoming Cate Le Bon's signature sound. There's also the unusual turns of phrase like "love is not love, it's a coat-hanger" and "I'm your dirty attic" which, in less competent hands, could come across as zany or wacky, but here they just sound wonderfully poetic.

Tracks like "We Might Revolve" have the sort of discordant ring to them which hardcore fans may associate with Le Bon's recent DRINKS collaboration (with White Fence's Tim Presley), but generally this is an album that will please anyone who's familiar with her previous solo work. Solidifying the things that Cate Le Bon does well whilst still pushing things forward onto slightly different courses.

Listen to

"What's Not Mine" - the zenith of Crab Day. It does what all of the songs on this record do (it's got all of that restraint, precision and sax for example), only slightly better. A track that gradually builds itself up on a steady rhythm, it almost comes across like a lost Dexys masterpiece from the Projected Passion Revue.