Cate Le Bon, Talkdemonic, Bone & Bell Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Tue., Feb. 14, 8 p.m. 2012

Though Welsh singer Cate Le Bon is a protege of Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), her extraordinary second album, Cyrk (The Control Group), reminds me more of the great Welsh rock band Gorky's Zygotic Mynci in the irresistible way it collides woozy pop, genteel British folk, and wiggy psychedelia—it probably doesn't hurt that her backing guitarist, Sion Glyn, played in the group for a bit. Le Bon is often compared to Nico, presumably because they share a kind of exaggerated enunciation, but that's as far as the similarities go—whether Le Bon's sanguine songs sound like 60s punk (the jackhammering "Falcon Eyed") or a trippy waltz ("Julia"), there's nothing icy about them. Her lyrics often describe characters with vivid imaginations: on "Greta," a deliberately broken ballad that reminds me of early Faust, she sings, "You can realign light, but you can't tame the girl / When her eyes are the size of lagoons." Glyn routinely and magnificently punctures the tunes with fuzzed-out guitar solos, while Le Bon gilds them with ethereal, overdubbed vocal harmonies, turning the album into a series of jolts and caresses. It's still early in the year, but I've yet to hear anything I like more. —Peter Margasak Talkdemonic and Bone & Bell open.

Price: $12, $10 in advance

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