by Philip Moss
When we chatted to Jeff Tweedy in early 2021 for Zine 8, he was very keen to emphasise how important new music, and keeping up with the latest releases, is to him. So much so, he dedicates a good chunk of every Friday afternoon to sifting through his favourite, trusted online blogs and playlists – which has led to to tour support slots being offered to Le Ren and Courtney Marie Andrews amongst others. But one artist he named checked specific love for was Cate Le Bon, and over two and half years on, Wilco return with Devoted – a first taste from their new album, Cousin – produced by the Welsh artist.
Tweedy and the Wilco gang are well known collectors of musical bric-a-brac – and their Loft studios in Chicago, where Le Bon was invited to curated the Cousin sessions – is a treasure trove of rare guitars. So the melding of Wilco’s traditional songwriting and vintage equipment, and Le Bon’s DIY flair for the quirky and playful makes their assimilation an interesting prospect.
Le Bon is no stranger to taking up the producer’s chair – in recent years she has helmed Deerhunter’s Why Hasn’t Everything Disappeared?, as well as releases from John Grant and Kurt Vile. Opening with a George Harrison-evoking guitar lick, Tweedy’s voice and the Evicted‘s overall feel immediately recalls his solo record, WARM. And never before has one of her collaborations sounded so mutually beneficial to both parties, as in the codas that follow each verse, Le Bon’s shadow subtly colours the track. Leaving intrigue as to how else she will let her presence be known over Cousin‘s nine other cuts, Evicted is a very exciting teaser.
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