In the Internet age, attention spans are dreadfully short.
Still here? Oh, thank you.
With this in mind, keeping an LP fit and trim is critical for an up-and-coming musician. Kudos to Welsh quirkstress Cate Le Bon, who, at the top of this year, smartly left half a record unreleased.
Her 2012 LP Cyrk is a zesty concoction, equal parts St. Vincent, Nico and her own folksy meanderings. After letting the world digest this work for seven months, Cate has returned at the close of summer with five songs that couldn’t squeak in the first time around. The aptly named Cyrk II is a companion EP that skews towards her sleepier side, but makes for an okay listen regardless of one’s feelings for original recipe Cyrk.
The EP carries a noticeably unfinished feel, which is possibly intentional given the “bonus footage” status of the record. Unlike its predecessor, Cyrk II is mostly guitar-centric, mellow and at times, a little drab. Cate’s voice is always interesting and pretty in its peculiarity, but these songs are lacking the experimental range that her full length contained. The dragging feel is particularly noticable in “Seaside, Lowtide,” which slumps along at a depressing pace, without bothering to be fully depressed. On the flip side, opener “What is Worse,” is wonky in a fun way, like a primitive Cardigans/Velvet Underground mash-up recorded in someone’s living room.
While not her strongest work, Cyrk II feels like a necessary expression–part of the Cate equation that was absent in the LP. The cuts for round one were well made, but access to the full package will paint a clearer picture for what fans have in store in her live act and future releases.