It’s been 10 years since Cate Le Bon burst on the scene. This being her fifth album under her belt, it feels like she’s only getting started. When the Welsh musician released her first album Me Oh My, we see a folk singer finding her wings, trying to get comfortable with her thoughtful words. Now she’s an accomplished songwriter, she’s bringing her musical vision to life.

Once was a time were Le Bon would merge her Folk roots with hints of neo-psychedelica however, Reward see’s the singer-songwriter dive into a more dream pop and surprising new wave sound. The 36 year old, recorded the album in Los Angeles working with drummer Stella Mozgazwa and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who are both involved in ambient dream-pop band Warpaint. Furthermore Reward lets Cate Le Bon croon further into her loneliness in this sun-swept release.

From the first few seconds of opening track Miami, there’s already a sense of a shift in Le Bon’s sound. There’s no folk guitar here, just synth-organ’s and a ticking clock of rhythm that prepares you for a rocket launch into space. It sinks into silky smooth second track Daylight Matters and Home To You which reflects Le Bon’s solitude in exotic climates.
Other high-lights of the album include Mothers Magazines, and Magnificent Gestures which both portray foot stomping beats to a new wave feel. Le bons punk-esque melodies, almost feel like they would belong on an 80’s NME mix-tape. Sad Nudes is the favourite of the album, a melancholy ballad with a heart-breaking pulse behind it. It’s a song that finishes just before it has begun, leaving you swimming in bleakness with a hook still resonating after the first listen.

As opener Miami, blasts of to space, closing song Meet the Man comes back down to earth. Whether or not this was deliberate in the structure of the album, it’s a sweet touch to finish of a well-rounded album. The sound of Reward is expansive in comparison to Cate Le Bon’s early work. With her saturnine lyricism and sharp instrumentation, it is perfect for park lounging and basking in summer time sadness.

Cat Le Bon graces the Gorilla stage Tuesday 27th August  -----> TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Written by Ivan Holmes.