Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley formed an inspired, unlikely union in 2015, when they branded themselves DRINKS and released an idiosyncratic album called Hermits on Holiday. Now, the duo is back for a brand new album, Hippo Lite, which they apparently recorded in between swimming in rivers and watching and rewatching the original Jurassic Park trilogy. It’s due out via Drag City on April 20th.
The LP is named for Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, the hamlet in southern France where the duo spent a month recording the album in an old stone mill. That idyllic setting has given way to the quirky, funky “Real Outside”, the album’s first single. Le Bon’s voice sprawls across looping, tip-toeing plucks and squeals that wouldn’t be out of place in stop motion. Listen to it below.
Le Bon and Presley have each offered up their own poetic takes on the album and what went into its creation. Read them below:
A month spent in an old mill in the under belly of France. River swimming thrice a day. Hot nights soundtracked by the rattle of randy frogs. Scorpion fear. In the sheets, on the face.
Hours of bird watching — no phone service. No Wifi. 3 DVDs. Jurassic Park 1, 2, & 3. Violin practice. Bread scoffing.
Early morning coffee drinking before the sun was too hot to do anything but snooze in the thick walled house. Music in the afternoon after a dip in the river and a cold beer on the square.
An album made for each other by one another with no hands, eyes, or ears piercing the bubble other than that of dear friend Stephen Black who kept note of it all.
In a town, so very still and quiet. A month in St. Hippolyte Du Fort, South France.
Where completely all of their brave young men vanished forever from the death machine of the first world war.
At one time left with only women and young girls. Only relics of time standing still.
All the deceased names of men chiseled under a stone angel, that watches over the town square.
We set up a recording unit in an old stone mill turned house and began to write and record with the attention of tree trimmers or gardeners.
It got so hot we had to swim in a local river near by just to be able to think, then back to our home to make sounds and songs. Any sounds we could think of or wanted.
We used night sounds, night insects and used frogs as instruments. Did you know frogs have saxophones in their throats?
This is a broken music. a crumble. It’s the music of the building we called home for a month. We’ve never made & recorded music in such a simple living environment.
With all the ease, and air we needed. We were in a town 8 miles over from Robert Crumb’s hidden residence.
We lived in a mysterious place.
We had a flock of bats over for dinner many nights. No internet, or a phone to look to.
We had a beautiful big stone house, a river, and from time to time a lovely elderly yet young-hearted couple who would visit.
It was the opposite of what a typical recording experience usually is for any of us.
We tried to capture all of this and put it on record.
They’ve also shared a quote from Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox: “I have not listened to anything except the new DRUINKS album,” he says. “At first i was like, this is a mind f**k. then i became addicted. it is totally brilliant.” That’s a legit cosign right there.
See the artwork and tracklist for Hippo Lite below.
Hippo Lite Artwork:
Hippo Lite Tracklist:
01. Blue From The Dark
02. IF IT
03. Real Outside
04. When I Was Young
05. In The Night Kitchen
06. Greasing Up
07. Corner Shops
08. IF IT… (Reprise)
10. Leave The Lights On
11. Pink Or Die
12. You Could Be Better