Cabane "Brûlée" (Autoproduction, Belgium, 2024) M/M Exclusively at Seymour Kassel Records !

$28
"Brûlée features a pair of English singers performing songs written by a Belgian musician from Brussels. He is Thomas Jean Henri, leader of the collaborative project Cabane. The vocalists are Kate Stables of This Is the Kit and Sam Genders of Tunng, both from the alternative-folk borders of UK indie music. String arrangements are by Henri and Sean O’Hagan of Microdisney and The High Llamas. The result is a curious little gem of an album.
It follows Cabane’s debut in 2020 with Grande est la maison, which had the same cast of performers, although Will Oldham, aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy, took the part of Stables’ main duet partner. The US singer-songwriter hasn’t returned for the follow-up. Instead, the vocal parts in the songs are split between Genders and Stables. It isn’t clear what their relationship is meant to be, whether they are playing the parts of lovers or are two voices amplifying the same subject of love. The uncertainty gives their close-miked, clearly enunciated words an enigmatic character.
Henri has co-written the lyrics with Genders and composed the music, which has a simple basis in clean-sounding acoustic guitar and unhurried piano. But what initially promises to be tastefully introspective folk-pop becomes less predictable. The orchestrations add an ornate but highly strung romantic dimension. A vibraphone evokes Stereolab’s reveries of lounge music. Drums are well-used, intruding into songs like a character bearing dramatic tidings.
The lyrics seem to describe the aftermath of a break-up. “Winter has turned slowly to spring,” Genders sings in “Dead Song (Part 1)” as a patter of piano and vibes mimics an April shower. He has a smooth, slightly quavery voice with a faint northern accent, like ripples on a placid body of water. Stables has a more striking style, uttering the kind of phrases that belong in French chanson (“And so you pray for love, but will you pray for me?”) in the high, breathy tones of a 1960s King’s Road troubadour. Based in Paris, she resembles an old-fashioned Gallic idea of an English singer, an enticing act of make-believe."

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