Cate Le Bon — „Pompeii“ (Feb. 4th, 2022)

WALES FLAG                                                                       Cate Le Bon — „Pompeii“ (Feb. 4th, 2022)
„Pompeje byly napsány a zaznamenány v bažině neklidu. V časovém posunu. V domě, kde jsem žila před 15 lety,“ uvedla v prohlášení Cate Le Bon. „Bojovala jsem s existencí, rezignací a vírou. Cítila jsem se vinna za katastrofu, ale měla silnou příchuť kolektivní viny, uvalené náboženstvím a prvotním hříchem.“
Všechno zní, jako by se rozplývalo. Basy. Horny. Hlavně klávesy. Je to destabilizující, fascinující, povzbuzující. Zní to jako nejumělečtější a nejvýraznější novovlnné hity 80. let, odrážející se v zrcadle funhouse. Zní to jako průchod přes zrcadlo. A nikdy to neznělo lépe než na „Pompeii“. Evan Lilly komentuje: „Cate Le Bon odvážně prozkoumává temná zákoutí popu.“ Zara Hedderman přisuzuje albu rovnou 9 a komentuje: „S každou novou nabídkou Cate Le Bon — ať už provozuje sólovou umělkyni, spolupracuje s Timem Presleym jako DRINKS nebo pracuje jako producentka pro ostatní uznávané alternativní umělce — se vyloupne rozbřesk a osvětluje neprozkoumanou cestu kreativity dlážděnou nekonečnou inspirací...“ Na svém šestém LP používá velšská avant~rockerka osvědčené vlivy s tématy tragédií, které jí  pomáhají pochopit naléhavou, rozvíjející se současnost.   Pompeje jsou dalším výjimečným obratem od Cate Le Bon; upřímným, nadčasovým a nekonečně obohacujícím. 
Birth name: Cate Timothy
Born: 4 March 1983, Penboyr, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Location: Los Angeles, California
Album release: Feb. 4th, 2022
Record Label: Mexican Summer
Duration:    22:50
1. Dirt on the Bed
2. Moderation   4:04
3. French Boys
4. Pompeii
5. Harbour
6. Running Away   5:43
7. Cry Me Old Trouble
8. Remembering Me   4:34
9. Wheel
Cate Le Bon — Guitars, synths, bass, piano, percussion 
Stella Mozgawa — Drums
Euan Hinshelwood — Saxophone
Stephen Black— Saxophone, Clarinet
All songs and arrangements — Cate Le Bon
Domino Publishing Co Ltd
Produced by Cate Le Bon and Samur Khouja
Engineered and mixed by Samur Khouja
Mastered by Heba Kadry
Recorded on Plantagenet Street, Wales except:
Saxophones and piano recorded at Studiowz, Sir Benfro, Wales
Drums recorded at Golden Retriever Studio, Sydney, Australia
Engineered by Simon Berckelman
Assistant Engineer Chloe Dadd
Vocals recorded at Vacant TV Studios, London
Engineered by Euan Hinshelwood
Co~produced by H. Hawkline
Photographs of Cate Le Bon by H. Hawkline
Photographs of photographs on screen by Casey Raymond
Space supplied by Shift Gallery, Cardiff
Equipment by G39
Design and layout by H. HawklineCate Le Bon ©H. HawklineReview
By Alan Ranta •  Feb 01, 2022 •  Score: 8
Isolation can lead to brilliance or madness, occasionally both. Having moved north of bustling Helsinki to the quiet artist community of Lake Tuusula, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius spent a decade or so struggling to write his eighth symphony before eventually throwing it into his dining room fireplace to ease his troubled mind. Escaping a sense of entrenched mediocrity in North Carolina, Justin Vernon broke up with his girlfriend, holed up in his dad’s Wisconsin hunting cabin, and emerged months later with Bon Iver’s instantly acclaimed For Emma, Forever Ago.
Welsh singer~songwriter Cate Le Bon took the creative isolation approach to an extreme on this record. She literally sealed herself in the studio on Plantagenet Street in Cardiff, attempting to dissolve her ego, her sense of identity. Armed only with a bass guitar and her wits, she bore the weight of the world on her shoulders, and eventually emerged with the transcendent new experience we have before us, titled Pompeii.
All the usual suspects are here, though. Longtime collaborator Samur Khouja returned to mix and help produce alongside Le Bon. Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo) and Euan Hinshelwood (Younghusband) slid in their scintillating saxophone from Studiowz in rural Pembrokeshire, while Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) sent her jazz~laced drumming up from her own quarantine at Golden Retriever Studio in Australia. They kept the team together while in seclusion, the best of both worlds.
Le Bon does pretty much everything else on the record. All the other percussion, guitars, synths and piano, all the songs and arrangements — that is her. She has forged herself into a conduit of musical creativity. As such, Pompeii is imbued with the same instantly recognizable presence that enraptured the world on her 2019 Mercury Prize~nominated fifth album — Reward.
Gently tilting the perspective towards the bright side of life, Pompeii notably features classic synths like the Yamaha DX7. Le Bon used the synth tones intentionally to touch on city pop, a loose style of breezy, funky Japanese yacht rock that peaked in the early ’80s. She also channeled the meditative, spiritual aura of a painting by DRINKS collaborator Tim Presley that hung on the wall during recording. Presley’s painting was appropriately remade with the likeness of Le Bon for Pompeii’s own cover art.
The overall effect is ageless yet ephemeral music, nostalgic yet of the now. It captures that prevalent sense of quiet panic and the struggle to retain any sense of time and human connection that has been the default mode of human existence for nearly all of the 2020s to date.
On “Remembering Me,” swirling synths, shimmering guitar whine and angelic vocals come together in one of the album’s most additive hooks, like a futuristic Laurie Anderson jam with Eurythmics. The sleazy sax line and sci~fi steel drum sound in “French Boys” makes it sound like a downtrodden response to “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys, while the introspective tension and upbeat pluck of “Moderation” sounds like Kate Bush on a good day. Though its lyrics speak of elusive love, lethargic dream~pop ditty “Running Away” has a sax crescendo so sexy it evokes George Michael.
With its melodic focus on the bass and heady lyrical vision expressed through quirky pop~tinged aesthetics, the album is full of moments that feel effortless while being thoughtful. Le Bon’s serious, surreal poetic illuminations interpret the profound heaviness of our age without being obvious or quaint about it, weighing existential dread with the comforting nature of finality. Altogether, Pompeii lands somewhere between Hejira~era Joni Mitchell and the solo work of Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier — rarified air where Le Bon undoubtedly belongs. — exclaim
BY CHRIS DEVILLE • Album Of The Week
By Evan Lilly • 03 FEB., 2022  • Score: 88
By Matt Mitchell | February 4, 2022 | 11:33am | Score: 8.4

Words by Zara Hedderman • Score: 9/10
Written by Adelaide Sandstrom • September 4, 2019: