Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley reunite as DRINKS for the project’s sophomore LP. Le Bon and Presley have always been the sort of friendly weirdos you could take home and show off to your mum, and Hippo Lite captures their playful sides. Singles like ‘Real Outside’ promise an album of weirdly beguiling music-box pop ala Micachu and the Shapes. Out on 4/20.
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There’s odd pop and there’s bad pop. Please go figure. Our newest member of staff, Daoud, listened to this record and remarked: “there’s that song bands put on their albums that’s like, intentionally annoying and bad. This band are like that... but with the entire album”. It’s true, and dare I say that on a good day, Cate le Bon and Tim Presley’s music can be a blessing in disguise. Today is a sub-par day.
The music these artists make apart is absolutely sublime; Cate le Bon is an underrated songwriter deserving of any and all of the psychedelic accolades. Tim Presley can have the ones she doesn’t get; together they make a kind of skewed, broken, everything falling over itself guitar pop that is both economical and obnoxious -- a combination that drags the mind into its most hateful and distraught of recesses. At times, a rhythm is thrown our way through the drums as if to make amends for the record being thrown our way. Bradford Cox’s two cents, real quick: “At first I was like, mind fuck. Then I became addicted.” Sure, but I don’t think addiction is good, so.
As with their LP prior, there are moments of this record I love, and they’re dragged through the mud in the spirit of making a kind of indie pop that tunnels underground, backwards, towards nothing. I love the little guitar melody that exists for the entirety of “In the Night Kitchen”, which is augmented by absolutely nothing at all. I love “Corner Shops”, which is an angular, discordant song with a real, catchy jangle tune bubbling about underneath it like a kid trying to escape the buzzkill of its parent. I kinda think this band are doing a Thinking Fellers thing at times -- see “Ducks” for more details -- and I’m happy for it, but how about a few more shades, a couple more distinctions, a bit more something? Basically DRINKS might need more stuff. I don’t know. They melted my brain and I need to get out of the office.
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