Famously slating the “mind-numbing predictability of the EDM barfsplosion currently gripping the corporate ravesters”, while making us wait for four long years, Dan Snaith always had a lot to live up to.
It’s been a long time coming, but he has finally, triumphantly, been reincarnated as Caribou. The Canadian has proved that he can level-up during these ever-changing and unpredictable times – and remarkably, the tracks feel fresh to this year without sounding try-hard and, most notably, they’re welcomingly warm.
Whereas with the swirling, miasmic ‘Swim’ of 2010 (review) Dan’s voice was a distant entity, separated from the listener, ‘Our Love’ evokes a closeness and intimacy that reflects the notion that he wanted the album to be a gift for the “Caribou fan”. It’s a thank you as well as a record within its own right, stretching out a hand over the DJ booth to the raver.
Snaith’s lyrics, too, seem to come from deep down, covering intense, tired and vital relationships, working in an intimate, home listening environment just as well as the huge spaces that Caribou often inhabits.
Set against the motorik pop of ‘Swim’, ‘Our Love’ is notably more soulful, yet also covers new stylistic ground, spanning a wide range of influences. Garage, pop, dubstep and hip-hop can all be located within its time signatures.
Still, traces of his Daphni dealings remain. The title track (audio below), for example, begins in typical looping Caribou fashion, but descends into a ravey breakdown that’ll be revered by dancefloors for a while to come.
While ‘Can’t Do Without You’ is a steadily building, rippling number that loops the vocal round and round, hitting ecstatic highs.
In a way that’s come to define Snaith in his work so far, ‘Our Love’ is a record that feels distinctly his own, accessible yet containing minute touches that you’ll need to listen to many times to appreciate. This is something to be played over and over, around those you love, and those you may come to.
Words: Felicity Martin
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