Cate Le Bon: “I hate everything I do right after I’ve done it!”

The Welsh singer-songwriter and producer on her best work to date

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4AD, 2019
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Bradford had written about Mug Museum for Pitchfork, so I was getting all these messages from people telling me Bradford was a fan. We ended up writing to each other on email, and kept in touch. He said, “When you play in Atlanta, please come and stay at my house.” So we did, and spent this lovely evening with him – he’s an extraordinary person, when you meet him he’s more extraordinary than you could ever invent. Then this Marfa Myths festival collaboration came up, and they asked me who I wanted to collaborate with. I suggested Bradford because we’d never really managed to tour together. Then I was in furniture school and he phoned me and asked if I’d consider staying on in Marfa after the collaboration and producing the Deerhunter record. It was a no-brainer, seeing as Bradford and I spoke a similar language and had a similar mentality, taste and attitude towards making music. It’s easy to call someone like Bradford ‘difficult’, but it’s doing someone like him a huge disservice, as he’s also easy because he writes these incredible songs and writes all the arrangements. 
He’s clear about what he likes and doesn’t like. To be in his company is honestly a treat.



A piano-led gem, comprising 10 of Le Bon’s finest, richest songs so far

I took a year 
off to go to furniture school – there’s the romanticism of moving to the country by yourself and attending furniture school, but it’s also solitary and quite lonely. The architecture of life as I knew it had changed in every element. So I bought myself a piano and wrote songs and sang for company. But I wasn’t writing them with the idea of an album in mind, but because I was going to school for nine hours a day, so music became my hobby again. I don’t think I’d had this length of time to compile and write songs for a while. And so I guess everything about this record is less spontaneous, and a bit more considered and involved. I tried to maintain some of the intimacy, 
so it was recorded with the same musicians, but just one on one. The drums and most of the piano and bass were recorded in Stinson Beach. Then Samur and I went to finish the record in the desert for a month, which was amazing – it 
was quiet, and you felt like nothing else existed, which seems to be something I’m always searching for. But the air dried my voice out, so it didn’t ever sound like me when I sang, which was quite strange. So I did all the vocals in Staveley in the Lake District by myself, which was perfect. It had come full circle. I wish I was building furniture in Cardiff, but it’s quite an investment putting 
a workshop together, so I’m just figuring out where the best place to do that is. It’s a lovely thing to spend time doing.

The July 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from May 16, and available to order online now – with The Black Keys on the cover. Inside, you’ll find David Bowie, The Cure, Bruce Springsteen, Rory Gallagher, The Fall, Jake Xerxes Fussell, PP Arnold, Screaming Trees, George Harrison and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including PJ Harvey, Peter Perrett, Black Peaches, Calexico And Iron & Wine and Mark Mulcahy.


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