Album of the Week: Caribou – Swim
Those of you who have been following closely (and you do exist, I have proof!) may remember that for the last two years my Album of the Year has been won by mammal-related bands, namely Frightened Rabbit and Grizzly Bear.
So what chance of three-in-a-row? Well, Band of Horses have an album out next month, some bunch called Avi Buffalo are meant to be good, and maybe this year I’ll get my musical project Badger or Banana?* off the ground.
In the meantime don’t bet against Dan Snaith’s latest effort under the name of Caribou.
It’s a pity that, like those Rabbit and Bear-related bands there isn’t a catchy adjective to go with the band – but if there was, it would have to be ‘funky’.
This record makes me want to dance, something which has been witnessed on the nation’s dancefloors only marginally less than Canadian reindeer getting their groove on.
Hopefully you’ll have heard Odessa already. My beloved 6 Music have been playing it, and various websites, including this one, have made it available to download for free.
If you haven’t, it’s a gem, all aquatic beats and swooning vocals and track two (Sun) keeps the theme going nicely.
Kaili storms in on thundering synths before breaking down into something much woozier with some nifty percussion going on deep in the mix.
Swim has been talked up as a change of direction for Snaith, which to an extent is true, but there was signs on 2007′s Andorra that dancier elements could work well when mixed in with that album’s intelligent psychedelia, namely Sundialling and the closing Niobe.
It’s not all keyboards and breakbeats either. Found Out has some gentle guitar scattered over it and Bowls has more time changes than Battles covering Miles Davis, while still remaining dancefloor-friendly.
I don’t do dance/techno/electronica in a particularly big way, but every so often an act pops up to remind me that there’s more to life than guitars – Caribou are one of them.
*May not actually exist, ever.