Before Welsh singer/songwriter Cate Le Bon released her 2019 album Reward, she spent some time immersing herself in the music of legends: Bowie, Prince, Pharoah Sanders, Kate Bush. Some of these influences are more easy to detect in her music than others (the abstract sheen of Berlin-era Bowie being the most prominent among them), but what they share in common, more than any specific style or sound is a unique, inimitable sense of identity, and a legacy that—while for some remains unfinished—is essentially carved in stone.
On “Remembering Me,” the spectacular third single from her sixth album Pompeii, Le Bon ponders the idea of legacy itself and “the desperate need to self-mythologise.” “In the remake of my life/I moved in straight lines,” she sings at the opening of the track, as if watching an abstract version of herself projected on a wall, while the music itself both echoes and pushes back against the imagery—a direct application of groove interrupted by distorted, melting saxophones. She makes wordplay out of meta-commentary (“Good grief, you miss so much“) and aims for some of her biggest hooks while dissecting the idea of legends and nostalgia. “Remembering Me” is Cate Le Bon at her best: Cleverly profound, distantly introspective, and making a grand art-pop anthem from an internal monologue.
From Pompeii, out February 4 via Mexican Summer
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.