Cate Le Bon can sound utterly timeless, even when using tried-and-true sounds. Maybe it’s her Welsh accent, which gives her singing voice a Nico-like huskiness, especially when paired with her band’s Velvet Underground-inspired simplicity. Le Bon first started releasing music in 2008, but a move last year to Los Angeles has paid off. In November came Mug Museum, her third album and her best to date. Her music has a new-found breeziness, even when she and guitarist H. Hawkline trade intricate melodies like Television’s Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd.
One of the standouts from Mug Museum–and her catalog overall–is “Are You With Me Now?,” a song that bubbles along at an unhurried pace. Le Bon often sings with detachment, but here that style fits perfectly. As the band zeroes in on a careful groove, she confidently steps out on her own, with just a tossed-off “are you with me now” over her shoulder.
Catch Cate Le Bon at SXSW 2014:
Friday, Mar 14: Waterloo Records, 2pm