Published Feb 25, 2020Only Dan Snaith (aka Caribou) could take hundreds of draft ideas — give or take 900 — and narrow them down to 12 tracks of Technicolor magic. While the Canadian producer has always exhibited a near-daily affinity to create music (just ask Four Tet), something felt different in the approach to Suddenly, Caribou's most recent material since 2014's critically acclaimed Our Love.
Aside from Snaith taking on a greater role as primary vocalist, he delves deeper into the intricacies and universal themes that tie together the human experience — namely, the unpredictability of change and the ways in which it impacts friends, families and the very nature of relationships.
"There are specific things," he says in a press release, "whether those are losses and traumas from my life and the lives of the people around me, or reflections on the joys and challenges of seeing my relationships with my kids and my parents change over time — things from the grain of my day-to-day life that insisted on making their way into the music."
While the everyday challenges of life may sound banal or needlessly menial to some, Snaith excels in showing off its effervescent, scintillating side. The transience of life is transformed in Caribou's capable hands, which splinter off into colourful, kaleidoscopic glimpses of the past, present and future. Suddenly pops with frenetic energy, clipped samples and unique instrumentals (re: screaming guitar solo on "You and I") that are both a testament to Caribou's melodic roots and a marker of the ways in which the veteran musician continues to grow and innovate as an artist.
Suddenly is a fresh perspective shift that encourages listeners to examine the bigger forces at play that act as a catalyst for change. It also makes the list for 2020's best new music. Coincidence? Maybe not. For more than 20 years, Snaith has displayed a rare versatility and ability to keep things fresh. Suddenly is no different.
Read Exclaim!'s March 2020 cover story with Caribou here. (Merge)