I seem not to have got round to reviewing this record, which is odd, as it was my favourite album of last year*. So I had better quickly say a few words about it.
I came to Cate Le Bon by a roundabout route. What piqued my interest was her cover version of Syd Barrett's 'Feel', on a compilation given away with Mojo. That had me digging up tracks by her on compilations and talking a lot about how interesting her voice was. Fortunately my birthday was upon me, so my beloved got me this album as a present, since when it has remained on heavy rotation here at Panda Mansions.
Le Bon could, broadly speaking, be classified as a singer-songwriter, in that she writes songs and sings them. I think she also accompanies herself on acoustic guitar. That may conjure up images of some dreadful woman singing songs with Deep And Meaningful lyrics. Fortunately she is not like that at all. The music is from a much broader palette, with keyboards and electric guitars playing a larger role than purely acoustic accompaniment. The unique selling point, though, is probably Le Bon's voice. She appears to come from a region (in this case, Wales), and her singing clearly suggests this, coupling with a slightly mannered delivery to give us something of real quality. The songs are appealing too, skirting the edge of melancholy and creating an attractively doomy atmosphere.
Alas, my limited powers of description fail me. I can only recommend that you seek out the music of Cate Le Bon yourself, or else ask me for a copy of my best of 2010 compilation, on which one of her songs features.
*it actually came out in 2009, but I heard it first in 2010, and that's what counts.
15/11/2011 - edited to make record cover reappear.