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Album Review | INDIE ROCK

Cate Le Bon, ‘Mug Museum’

In the wake of Lou Reed’s passing a few weeks ago, it’s tempting to decipher his influence over recent music. In the case of Cate Le Bon, you don’t have to search too deeply. This Welsh singer-songwriter wears her love of the Velvet Underground proudly, particularly on “Mug Museum,” her third album, which jingles and jangles even when the subject matter turns dark. Le Bon’s music has a seasick dissonance that plays against the shiny exuberance of her baroque melodies and the decadence of her Nico-like voice. The guitars especially sound like they’re about to slip out of tune as the songs shift like a kaleidoscope. Enlisting producer Noah Georgeson (known for his work with Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom), Le Bon gives these songs a crisp production. She kicks into overdrive on the propulsive “Wild.” Coming to “Mug Museum” cold, you could easily mistake its origins: Was it made yesterday or in 1965? (Out Tuesday) JAMES REED


Cate Le Bon plays the Middle East Upstairs on Jan. 18.