With her ghostly voice and unfettered approach to far-ranging folk music, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon is helping carry on the gleefully unpredictable tradition of indie acts like her countrymen Super Furry Animals (whose leader Gruff Rhys was an early supporter).
Earlier this year she released her acclaimed sophomore album "CYRK" (Polish for "circus"), and this month followed it with the more pacific EP "CYRK II."
amNewYork spoke with Le Bon.
What sets the songs on "CYRK II" apart from the full album? All the songs on "CYRK" and "CYRK II" were recorded in the same sitting. They come from the same well, but pooled into two. The divide wasn't clear to me initially as I was too close up to see the wood for the trees. It was outlined by a good friend, who I trust implicitly, whilst I was trying to compile the track listing. It made perfect sense. Whilst "CYRK" bounds around erratically, "CYRK II" is like its older sibling, bearing songs of a more confessional, composed manner.
How would you describe the pull of the outdoors on your music? I had not realized how much I drew upon the natural world until people starting asking me about it. It's where I grew up and where I will always revert as a backdrop when trying to substantiate my disorderly ideas.
Your songs feature lots of unexpected turns. How do you refine them once they're initially written? I never make demos before entering the studio. My songs are all partially stored on an imaginary 4-track in my mind. This is equal parts laziness, fear and wanting to keep things exciting when I finally enter the studio. I like to keep things quick and spontaneous and allow myself to follow a whim if I so wish.
If you go: Cate Le Bon will be at Mercury Lounge on Friday at 8:30 p.m., 217 E. Houston St., 212-260-4700, $12
She will be at Union Pool on Saturday at 9 p.m., 484 Union St., Williamsburg, $10