This Friday, May 6th, Cate Le Bon will be headlining Johnny Brenda’s for what seems will be one of the best performances Philly sees all year. Last month the Welsh (but LA-residing) singer/songwriter released her fourth LP, Crab Day, courtesy of Drag City, and it’s already achieved overwhelming critical acclaim from the ineffably-hip Pitchfork and the quite-“popular” Guardian alike. However, during a brief phone chat with Cate yesterday, she tells me that that’s something she kind of tries not to focus on: “I haven’t really looked at reviews. I mean, there’s been some nice things said and there’s been some terrible things said, but that’s just how it is.” But she does tells me that the record is very special to her and, in fact, a highlight of her life. The album (which features Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa producing some of her own career highlights on drums) boasts the jangly, psychedelic kind of proto-punk produced by the Velvets and Nico, but also with a notable nod to Belle & Sebastian’s most morose and unsettling take on twee. But when I ask Cate what most significantly influenced the album, music history would seem to be far from the forefront of her mind.
“Getting older, the ocean, thinking you’re making the most important record and then looking out the window and seeing the ocean, which has been there for so much longer than anything you will create will be. We made a record to just purely please ourselves. It was complete abandonment, which is the only way to achieve something completely authentic.”