catelebon

Attributed to Cate Le Bon’s shift in locale, ‘Mug Museum’’s sunny disposition is a welcomed juncture. Recorded in the temperate climates of California as opposed to her native Wales, Le Bon’s third full-length exhibits a general shift in tone for the singer, surprisingly informed by a period of taking stock after a bereavement following the death of her grandma.

There are the murkier moments to counteract its initial ebullience, evinced in the introspection of Cate’s vocal delivery, the moody lyrics and the sporadic gloom on tracks like ‘Sisters’ and ‘Wild’. Some might revile the record’s messiness or the reluctance to stick to one single direction here, but it’s this range of tone – from being a low-key, lo-fi offering deeply rooted in folk to an outright psychedelic affair – that’s all part of the album’s intriguing, unexpected appeal.

What remains constant, however, is the sheer potency of Le Bon’s distinct ethereal lilt, containing the same sonorous fragility of Nico’s in her VU days. Visceral and melodic, ‘Mug Museum’ feels like Cate Le Bon’s strongest record to date.

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