Friday, April 16, 2010

Album Review: Caribou - Swim

Caribou, the alias of Canadian musician and Merge artist Daniel Snaith, is tough to pin when it comes to applying a succinct label. Electronic chill indie dance pop is about as pared down as it could get. His most recent musical endeavor is no different. Swim is a breath of fresh air in a time where a lot of music sounds stale.

In a way, Swim is a lot like Frankenstein's monster: sewn-together bits of other bands that make a mighty creature who is bound to capture you. Snaith sounds as though he has gleaned bits of inspiration from the likes of daft Punk, Kraftwerk, or Animal Collective; however, what he does with these bits is what makes Swim such an interesting listen.

Each of the songs is like a different sonic smoothie. All of them have the same electronic base, but there are different musical ingredients thrown in from song to song. There's some disco on "Hannibal," a pinch of eerie laughter on "Sun," a dash of bells and harps on "Bowls." Snaith throws them all in a blender and slams "puree." The result is delicious: a pack of laboriously crafted tracks that vary enough to hold your interest, yet aren't a garbled mess of random hooks and noise.

You can get your hands on Swim on Tuesday, April 20, but the wait is a little longer if you want to see Caribou near you. He comes to Carrboro next month, playing Cat's Cradle on May 12.

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