After moving to Los Angeles in 2013, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon has made quite a name for herself in America. With three studio albums, playing in White Fence’s touring band and collaborating with Tim Presley for the project DRINKS, Le Bon has welcomed 2016 with Crab Day. Le Bon creates an ornate style of garage rock, with folk and psychedelic tendencies. Her style is light and effortless with well-thought out compositions that highlight her songwriting skills.
“Find Me” is a simple, discordant pop song with a ’60s feel (much like Foxygen), and has quirks similar to a Wes Anderson flick. Le Bon makes rock and roll look easy by balancing her apathetic personality with intricate music.
“We Might Resolve” is a tight, catchy tune with a fast-paced drum-and-bass combo, evoking the style of Patti Smith. Crab Day is an extremely enjoyable album with a lot to pick through, making it fun to listen multiple times.
Formerly of The Moldy Peaches, New York-based musician and artist Adam Green has furthered his signature style of anti-folk with his new album Aladdin — a soundtrack to an experimental film he created with the help of Kickstarter. The film depicts a dysfunctional family who lives in a nameless American city run by a corrupt sultan who has a socialite daughter, and much like Green’s music, the film is homespun and endearing.
Unlike The Moldy Peaches, Green’s solo album is more of a folk-punk record with slower tempos, off-kilter lyrics and captivating sounds. Like Jeffery Lewis and Los Bolts, Green’s style is also heavily influenced by ’60s psychedelic rock, with some songs blasting into space with swirling acoustic guitars. The album stands well alone, but can be enjoyed with the film, too.
Electronic ambient composer Julianna Barwick, who collaborated with Sigur Ros producer Alex Somers and released two critically acclaimed albums, recently dropped her third record, Will, on Dead Oceans. Much like 2013’s Nepenthe, Barwick uses few instruments — piano, voice, or pad — and creates light, delicate and airy soundscapes. With massive amounts of reverb and space between notes, the album is full of cavernous atmospheres that are simultaneously comforting and cold.
The formless “Beached” is a melodic track with cascading melodies, akin to acts like Grouper, and incorporates a string section that wraps around the composition like ivy. Each track flows together nicely and holds a smooth and sharp balance between textures. Unlike her previous compositions, Will is more up-front and immediate but still packs the ethereal and emotional punch stronger than ever.
Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists.