Cate Le Bon will release her sixth studio album “Pompeii” on February 4, 2022 on Mexican Summer record label. “Pompeii” was composed all by itself in a kind of vacuum and mainly written on bass guitar. Cate Le Bon plays every instrument, except drums and saxophone, on the album itself and recorded the album mostly alone with her regular companion and co-producer Samur Khouja in Cardiff, Wales. The first single from the album, titled “Running Away” has already been released, today her new single “Remembering Me” will also be released.
The songs of “Pompeii”, the successor to her 2019 album “Reward” for which Cate Le Bon received a Mercury Price nomination, feel suspended in time. Songs written for now miraculously sprout into Le Bon’s interests in antiquity, philosophy, architecture and divine modality. A global pandemic plus climate crisis; clashing eco-traumas, so ‘What would be your last gesture?’ she asks, but “Pompeii” goes beyond current crises to tap into what Le Bon calls ‘an economy of time distortion’, where life twists, bubbles, ripples, melts, hardens, and redefines itself unpredictably, like lava— or rather, sound.
‘ “Pompeii” was written and recorded in a quagmire of unease. Solo. In a time warp. In a house I had a life in 15 years ago. I grappled with existence, resignation and faith. I felt culpable for the mess but it smacked hard of the collective guilt imposed by religion and original sin. The subtitle is: You will be forever connected to everything. Which, depending on the time of day, is as comforting as it is terrifying. The sense of finality has always been here. seems strangely hopeful. Someone is playing with the focus lens. The world is on fire but the bins must go out on a Tuesday night. Political dissonance meets beauty regimes. I put a groove behind it for something to hold on to. The grief is in the saxophones,’
Cate Le Bon
Tim Presley’s painting hung on the wall in the studio as a meditative image for Le Bon and was reproduced as a portrait of her for the album cover. How do you make music that sounds like a painting? Le Bon wondered. It resulted in layers of synths with basslines inspired by ’80s Japanese urban pop – designed to convey merriment and desolation, Stella Mozgawa’s jazz-oriented percussion patched from Australia, vocal arrangements and Khouja’s encouraging presence. It is a characteristic sound for Pompeii.
The first single is “Running Away”. A story of a beautiful nature but with a bitter edge (‘The fountain that empties the world / Too beautiful to hold’), escapism lives like a foil for the outside world. A tribute to memory, compassion and mortality forever. The video was directed by Casey Raymond and was shot at The Factory in Porth, Wales. Le Bon plays there together with saxophonist Euan Hinshelwood. Today ‘Remembering Me’ officially premieres and yes, you see and hear this great track first on Maxazine.