Caribou – Suddenly

On Caribou's seventh album, Dan Snaith finds his voice and brings his experimental side to the fore without sacrificing his perfectly lush melodies

Album Review by Lewis Wade | 24 Feb 2020
  • Caribou - Suddenly
Album title: Suddenly
Artist: Caribou
Label: City Slang
Release date: 28 Feb

The title of Dan Snaith's latest album as Caribou is inspired by a word that his young daughter learned and began to repeat incessantly. This mini history tells half the story here, as the album is undoubtedly Snaith's most personal and warmly familial (his mother even provides vocals on the opening track, in the form of a nursery rhyme to his sister). Snaith himself sings on every track, bar the short instrumental Filtered Grand Piano. His voice may not be the strongest but he knows how to employ it in a way that fits perfectly on most tracks.

The other half of Suddenly's backstory comes from the abrupt sonic ruptures that occur throughout the album. Sunny's Time and You and I feature the most jarring changes, with the former bursting into a garish rap sample after a minute or so of woozy pitch-shifted piano and the latter shoehorning a chorus of random chopped up samples and a searing guitar solo in between mellow, whispery verses.

Lime, however, goes in the opposite direction. It starts as fairly standard Caribou, all lush synths and warm melodies, before unexpectedly fading away into a barely-there spectral chorus. Magpie is weirder still, moving from lo to hi-fi after more than a minute, like when diegetic music suddenly becomes soundtrack at the end of a coming-of-age film.

The beauty of Snaith's music is usually in the broad, overarching vibes and perfectly constructed club-ready cuts that still manage to feel intimate. Suddenly is a different prospect, one that focuses more on the minutiae than the big picture, on personal reflection rather than big, shared moments. It's a beautiful album that requires patience and provokes instrospection, while still retaining the gorgeous discotronics and expertly stitched samples that come with a Caribou release. 

Listen to: New Jade, Home, Sunny's Time

Scroll on to read our interview with Dan Snaith on the new Caribou album