A record that emerged from grief, Cate Le Bon's Mug Museum twinkles with bright new beginnings.
She says the death of her grandmother got her thinking about her place in the female line of her family, and this meditative response bled into other relationships too. What we're left with is a set of songs that ponder loss and separation but do it with prettiness and hope.
The other fresh start is a change of scenery. Abandoning her native Cardiff for Los Angeles, Le Bon tackles her third album with greater focus, an accomplished full-band sound and an unmistakably West Coast feel. Swirling psychedelic pop is a particular favourite, with Sisters a close relative of pretty much anything off MGMT's Congratulations and the music-box organ and spidery guitar of Cuckoo Through The Walls putting the weirdness into new wave.
Then there's her voice. It echoes both her compatriot John Cale and his old sparring partner Nico, delicate and pleasantly mannered, a beguiling foil to the Strokesy/Blurry chug of I Can't Help You and the steam-pump drive of Wild. Through 10 songs of absorbing and surprising twists and turns, Le Bon reveals herself as a versatile artist, forging into a splendid future.