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Album of the Week: Caribou – Suddenly

Shifting effortlessly between joyous pop and experimental dance, explore Caribou’s third album, Suddenly.

Canadian musician and composer Dan Snaith has recorded under a few different names over the years, Manitoba, Caribou and more recently his dancier alter-ego Daphni.

However, for the first time in five years, 2020 marks his mighty return to his Caribou moniker a decade since his breakthrough Caribou album, Swim.

His talent for writing hooks is still unmistakable. Suddenly sees him triumphantly return to his indie roots, swinging between quirky pop and deep house, and utilising more samples than ever before.

Yet in contrast to the upbeat tones and catchy melodies, the album presents a deeply personal exploration of growth, relationships and grief.

Never Come Back – an undisputed Ibiza and festival banger – nods to dancehall with a melody paired with ’90s style piano chords and modest drums that could sit comfortably on 2015’s Our Love.

Caribou’s take on melody occasionally boast a technical element – he does hold a doctorate in mathematics from Imperial College London – adding to the unique nature of his experimental sound. Tracks change unexpectedly throughout, shifting between joyous indie pop, brooding synths, and dance-floor ready electronica in the same minute.

His lyrics detail love and loss earnestly, and the theme of family feature heavily. Historic transgressions with his sibling guide album opener Sister; his vocals are at the forefront both raw and exposed. Caribou samples a recording of his mother singing a nursery rhyme when they were children.

First single Home changes tack, built around samples of Gloria Barnes soulful track of the same name.

You And I is Caribou at its best, while the off-key piano notes in New Jade‘s intro take the album in yet another direction, complete with a stunning chorus. Like I Love You shifts pitch at an alarming rate, a deviation that is brilliantly unnerving. Electronic beats disappear in favour of a twinkling piano.

It’s both vulnerable and exciting, slotting into the perfect niche Snaith has built himself. Suddenly maintains Caribou’s position as both a welcomed festival field filler and part of a versatile, mercurial club set.

The festival mainstay will tour the UK in March and April 2020, before performing at Victoria Park’s All Points East on 23 May 2020. [Find Tickets]


Tracklisting:
1. Sister
2. You and I
3. Sunny’s Time
4. New Jade
5. Home
6. Lime
7. Never Come Back
8. Filtered Grand Piano
9. Like I Loved You
10. Magpie
11. Ravi
12. Cloud Song

Listen to Suddenly on Spotify:

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