The fruit borne from Cate Le Bon and White Fence's Tim Presley in the last few years have been strange and delightful hybrids — like little pluots of avant-pop and post-punk. Hermits on Holiday, their 2015 debut album together as Drinks, directly influenced Le Bon's 2016 album Crab Day and takes an adventurous left-turn that has nooks and crannies I'm still discovering.
"We were just trying to make music that excited us both and that made me remember that that's the only reason to make music," Le Bon told NPR in 2016. "That [Drinks album] kind of reignited my love of writing and performing and also made me remember that you choose to do this. You don't have to do this. It's a choice to be a musician."
That's a liberating reason to create and reason to celebrate with more Drinks. "Corner Shop" from the duo's upcoming project, Hippo Lite, clicks multiple miniature gears into place like an antique watch — a trebly and discordant guitar riff plays off a plinked piano ascending broken scales, and an oddball funk bass and clipped metronomic rhythm keeps everything in place. Le Bon and Presley find a meditative state in the song's weird and wonderful four-and-a-half-minutes, never quite veering into chaos, but not ignoring it either.
Hippo Lite comes out April 20 via Drag City.