Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum


Listening to Cate Le Bon’s newest album the third of her career it’s easy to hear what drew Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys to her work all those years ago. The songs have quirky pop sensibilities with gossamer-like vocals and fuzzy guitars playing jangly games with their notes.

Although this album leaves parts of Cate’s folk personality behind there’s still a familial quality. She composed this album in the midst of dealing with her grandmother’s death and coming to understand her “purpose within the female chain.” The song “Sisters” contains the most obvious of these themes while the rest of the album contains more cryptic but enrapturing lyricism.

Cate uses her delicate voice and Welsh accent to give unique character to the melodies while harkening artists like Nico and The Velvet Underground. There’s no doubt that album collaborators — and krautrock-worshipping musicians — like Sweet Baboo and H. Hawkline had something to do with the weirder forays on the album; songs like “Mirror Me” end by splintering into haunting psych directions.

The album concludes with the title track that uses only vocals and raw piano. “Mug Museum” is the perfect slow contemplative piece to bring to and end an album wrought with weirdness confusion and growing up.