Cate Le Bon

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Cate Le Bon
Cate Le Bon in 2012.jpg
Le Bon performing at The Arch, Village Underground, London on 23 April 2012
Background information
Birth name Cate Timothy
Born (1983-03-04) 4 March 1983 (age 33)
Penboyr, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Genres Folk, rock, pop
Occupation(s) Songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2007–present
Associated acts

Cate Le Bon (born Cate Timothy on 4 March 1983[1]) is a Welsh singer-songwriter, now based in Los Angeles. She sings in both English and Welsh.[2] She has released four solo albums, two EPs and a number of singles.[3] Le Bon is also known for her collaborations with among others Manic Street Preachers, Neon Neon and Matt Davies.


Le Bon was born in Penboyr, Carmarthenshire, Wales, and first gained public attention when she supported Gruff Rhys (of the Super Furry Animals) on his 2007 solo UK tour. She appeared as a guest vocalist on Neon Neon's 2008 single "I Lust U" from their album Stainless Style. Under her original name she provided backing vocals on Richard James's debut solo album The Seven Sleepers Den in 2006. She also appeared on his second solo album, We Went Riding, from 2010.

Le Bon worked with Funeral for a Friend frontman Matt Davies on his solo album Impressionist Road Map of The West between December 2005 and August 2006. The album was released in 2007.[4]

Her first official release was a Welsh language EP, Edrych yn Llygaid Ceffyl Benthyg ("Looking in the Eyes of a Borrowed Horse", similar to the English expression "to look a gift horse in the mouth"), on Peski Records in 2008.[5] She also self-released the double A-side debut single "No One Can Drag Me Down" / "Disappear" (described by Gruff Rhys as “Bobbie Gentry and Nico fight over a Casio keyboard; melody wins!”) on her website. Le Bon worked alongside Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's Megan Childs, who contributed violin, and Super Furry Animals and Thrills collaborator John Thomas, who added pedal steel.[6]

Her debut album, Me Oh My (previously known by the working title Pet Deaths), was released in 2009.

In 2010, Le Bon provided backing vocals on several tracks from The Gentle Good's second album, Tethered for the Storm. She also collaborated with Race Horses lead singer Meilyr Jones on the project Yoke.[7] In 2011, Lex Records artist Boom Bip featured Le Bon's voice on the track "Do as I Do" on the Zig Zaj release.

In 2012, Le Bon released the album Cyrk, followed by the Cyrk II EP.

In January 2013, Le Bon moved to Los Angeles to further her career in the US.[8] Her third album, Mug Museum, released November 2013, was produced by Noah Georgeson and Josiah Steinbrick in Los Angeles, and features Stephen Black (bass) and Huw Evans (guitar). She provided guest vocals on the track "Slow Train" from Kevin Morby's debut album Harlem River and on the track "Coming Through" which appears on the album Nobody Knows by Willis Earl Beal.

In September and October 2013, Le Bon supported Manic Street Preachers on several of their UK tour dates. She performed lead vocals on the track "4 Lonely Roads" from their album Rewind the Film, released in September 2013.

She was due to host a music festival in Cardigan, Wales in August 2014, but it was cancelled due to licensing issues.[9]

In 2015, Le Bon collaborated with Tim Presley as DRINKS and released the album Hermits on Holiday in August 2015.[10]

Le Bon released her fourth studio album, Crab Day, on 15 April 2016 on Drag City to generally favourable reviews.[11] The album was produced by Josiah Steinbrick and Noah Georgeson,[12] and again featured Stephen Black (bass), Huw Evans (guitar) with Stella Mozgawa (drums).[3] She noted how the collaboration with Presley had made her realise "that I make music because I love to, not because I have to".[3] On tour she was support by Black and Evans and on occasion by Steinbrick and Josh Klinghoffer, a five-piece that also performs instrument improvisations under the name Banana.[13] She also produced Presley's solo album The WiNK, set for release in September 2016.[14]


Le Bon is singled out by critics for her "beautiful, haunting voice". She described writing and performing music as "important to me, it’s just an expression and sometimes it’s not necessary to moralise it".[3] Le Bon claimed that "early experiences with a string of pet deaths had a profound lasting effect on me" and informed her initial self-admitted "abnormal fixation with death".[15] She describes her lyric writing as "foraging for [the right] words and then everything falls into place".[3]

Solo discography[edit]



  • Edrych yn Llygaid Ceffyl Benthyg (Peski Records, 2008)
  • Cyrk II (2012)


  • "No One Can Drag Me Down / Disappear" (self-released, 2007)
  • "I Can't Help You" (Turnstile, 2014)


  1. ^ "Cate Timothy Director Profile". Endole. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  2. ^ Sabrina Sweeney (18 August 2014). "Cate Le Bon: Living for the music". BBC News. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Nash, Ed (4 August 2016). "Cate Le Bon: Something Changed". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  4. ^ "BBC Wales - Music - The Secret Show - Biography". 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  5. ^ "Peski - About Cate Le Bon". Peski Records. 
  6. ^ "Gruff Rhys collaborator readies debut release". NME. 3 April 2007. 
  7. ^ "Yoke. Cate Le Bon & Mei Race Horses on Vimeo". 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  8. ^ "Cate Le Bon on Twitter: "@husharbors moving to LA for a wee while at the end of Jan! blwyddyn newydd dda! X"". 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  9. ^ "Cate Le Bon Mas Mas festival in Cardigan cancelled". BBC News. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Bob Boilen (18 May 2015). "Song Premiere: DRINKS, 'Hermits on Holiday'". NPR. 
  11. ^ "Crab Day by Cate Le Bon",, retrieved 2016-08-04 
  12. ^ Mejia, Paula (2016-04-16). "'The World Is Absolute Nonsense': The Cosmic Quest Of Cate Le Bon". NPR Music. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  13. ^ Nash, Ed (17 March 2016). "Now that's what I call a Supergroup: Cate Le Bon and Banana live in London". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  14. ^ Kayeon, Ben (30 June 2016). "White Fence's Tim Presley announces new solo album, shares "Clue" — listen". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  15. ^ [1] Archived December 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 

External links[edit]