The Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon’s last couple of releases—her 2016 album Crab Day and 2018’s Hippo Lite, from her duo DRINKS, with Tim Presley—have been deceptively prickly affairs. Le Bon has a cool, dulcet voice imbued with the cryptic poise of a sighing aristocrat, or an Edward Gorey character; her early work wrapped clean-toned guitar around muted moods and harmonies. But she has increasingly gravitated toward tone clusters that bristle with dissonance, and her arrangements tend to resemble Tinker Toys: round, innocuous forms with brightly colored sticks jutting out at improbable angles.
She walks back the strangeness slightly on “Home to You,” the latest single from her forthcoming album Reward. Plucked electric bass and soft chimes situate the song squarely within the sounds of the 1960s that she loves so much; a mixture of staccato pulses and gently worn textures, it bounces like the coils of a boarding-house sofa. Aside from a chilly trace of new wave in the song’s flanged guitar counterpoints, it’s a cozy, reassuring sound, smooth as a slow dance on hardwood floors. But her lyrics are anything but familiar. They read like someone’s dream journal with every other page torn out, or half the words rendered illegible—by tears, perhaps, or droplets of old tea. Ironic, given that it’s a song about memories.
“Home to you/Is a neighborhood in the night kitchen/Home to you/Is atrocity in the town,” she sings, with the quiet determination of a clairvoyant tracing haunted blueprints. She seeks out the source of the disturbance one fragmentary word at a time, finally homing in on a refrain—“Last time for all time gone”—that cycles like a song in the round, its parts jumbled, the time forever out of joint. Even at her most seemingly straightforward, Le Bon can’t resist prying up the floorboards, mischievously throwing everything ever so slightly out of whack.
The song, Ottolenghi, dropped last night and features a reference to the chef’s cookbook Jerusalem, which is a homage Israeli-born Ottolenghi’s youth spent growing up in the Middle Eastern city.
Carner sings the lyrics: “They ask about the bible I was reading/Told them that the title was misleading/Labelled it Jerusalem but really it’s for cooking Middle-Eastern”.
The release coincided with a video shoot for British GQ in which both Ottolenghi and Carner discussed their friendship and love of food.
Posting a teaser for the video on his Instagram account, Ottolenghi wrote: “A few months ago, out of the blue, I got an email from Loyle Carner. I haven’t heard of him then but I soon found out that he’s a talented, well respected hip hop musician.
“Carner has written a song called Ottolenghi (you can imagine the shock on my face!) that he was eager to tell me about… I listened to the song, which I thought was fantastic!”
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Giannis ft. Anderson .Paak
Hardheaded Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and head-blown California producer Madlib teamed up five years ago to make the great collaborative album Piñata. And later this month, after years of teasing, the same duo is reuniting for a full-length follow-up called Bandana.
We’ve already heard a few early tracks — “Flat Tummy Tea,” the Assassin-featuring title track, and “Crime Pays.” Pusha-T, Killer Mike, Yasiin Bey, and Black Thought all show up on the album. And now we’re getting another new song with another big name.
“Giannis,” named for rising NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, features Anderson .Paak, who gets to flex both his singing and his rapping muscles. But the highlight of the track, as always, is the interplay between Madlib’s dazed psychedelia and Gibbs’ gravelly tough-talk.
Not one to lack rhythm and melody, Col3trane has released his impressive EP Heroine. The seven-track projects clocks in at just under 20 minutes, but the up-and-coming R&B artist is imposing from the get-go. Opening with “Divine Intervention,” he wastes no time in deeply serenading you before kicking into quick high-hats and a trap-influenced beat. He teams up with GoldLink on “Superpowers” and RAYE plus duo DJDS on “The Fruits” for good measure, adding several layers to the project’s musicality. As he continues to internalize and utilize his influences to his benefit, Col3trane is on his way to creating radio-friendly bangers that will soon appear on your playlists.