Boomkat Product Review:
As sure as if it had been mapped in the stars, or written in a prophecy buried deep beneath the sands of the Marfa desert, a collaboration between Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox was always something of an inevitability.
"Fourth in Mexican Summer’s Myths EP series (and following previous tie-ups between Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin, Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, and Dungen and Woods), Myths 004 sees Le Bon and Cox–each a much-revered musical innovator in their own right–finally united. For both artists, Myths 004 signals a change of tack: meticulousness thrown to the wind as spontaneous, jammy tales of firemen and 5p plastic bags, unbrushed hair and shoelessness and makeup-daubed landscapes–all miraculously written and recorded in just one week–roll effortlessly off their cuffs.
Though this EP materialises after two individual 2019 album campaigns–Le Bon’s Mercury-nominated fifth album Reward, and Cox’s eighth with his band Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (which Le Bon co-produced)–the chronologies are tangled: Myths 004 is in fact a snapshot of the pair’s very first meeting. After years of admiring each other’s work from afar, Cox and Le Bon finally converged on Marfa, Texas in 2018, at Mexican Summer’s annual Marfa Myths music, visual art, and film festival. “Marfa is an extraordinary town,” says Le Bon. “It feels like nothing else exists when you’re in it which is both comforting and unnerving.”
In this otherworldly enclave, and with a band of frequent Cate Le Bon co-conspirators on hand to putty the gaps with drums, saxophone, percussion, keys, and additional guitar (Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo, and Samur Khouja), the EP was assembled whiplash-quick. “Writing and recording in a week is a tall order - especially when such chemistry exists between all the musicians involved, and the possibilities are boundless,” Le Bon explains. “We committed ourselves to embracing the chaos, surrendering to all moments and moods that travelled through. It’s a crude holiday scrapbook shared by all involved, an amalgamation of the changes in mood and light that shaped the days.”
Indeed, Myths 004 is wondrous in its variety. On the opening song “Canto!”, Cox dons the ill-fitting leathers of an ageing biker and urges us to come ride with him, baby. He and Le Bon gaze into one another’s eyes with semi-serious sweetness as tough, wiry guitars stab through the romance. Everything shrinks and softens on the EP’s sole single, the gently melancholic “Secretary,” as Le Bon and Cox spout verse over a mysterious percussive rhythm; perhaps made by miniature cymbals from a mantric parade, perhaps by someone rummaging in the cutlery drawer."