Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum

Melancholy through a psych filter.

Label: Turnstile/The Elite Meat Supply

Rating:

At some point between making last year’s ‘CYRK’ double-bill and recording new album ‘Mug Museum’, Cate Le Bon upped sticks from Cardiff and relocated to the somewhat more glamorous climes of Los Angeles. Predictably, then, it’s all too easy to ‘find’ (read: go searching for subconsciously or otherwise) shifts in the Welsh singer-songwriter’s sound on this follow-up. The fuzzy 70s coating that covers most of ‘Mug Museum’ instantly sounds ‘sunnier’; there’s suddenly a sort of Golden Hour sheen to proceedings. Which would make sense: most of the record was written back home before being recorded Stateside.

That makes for a bewitching mix. The melancholy for which Cate’s distinctive vocals works so well remains – the Perfume Genius-featuring duet ‘I Think I Knew’ the most prominent case in point – but the addition of wonderfully precise instrumentation acts as transformation. The motorik-esque repetition of ‘Wild’ is every bit as mind-altering as anything the likes of TOY have to offer; ‘Duke’ swirls and hypnotises with the best of them. As wistful as ever, then, just through a deliciously warm 70s psych filter.