Caribou - Swim

Album Review by Nick Mitchell | 29 Mar 2010
Album title: Swim
Artist: Caribou
Label: City Slang
Release date: 19 Apr
The North American wilds have inspired many an indie act, from Grizzly Bears to Mountain Goats to Bands of Horses. But let's not forget another member of this veritable animal collective: Canadian maestro Caribou. The human mind behind this musical creature belongs to Dan Snaith, who for the past decade has been plotting his own migration from glitchy electronica to lounge pop - and everywhere in between.
Swim, his latest longplayer, is yet another departure, this time to a kind of all-encompassing, sophisticated dance-pop. Album opener Odessa is like a thawed-out Röyksopp track – a punchy, off-kilter bass giving rise to myriad sonic wonders. It's Snaith's mastery of such a vast landscape of sounds and styles that sets him apart. From the harp and chimes of Bowls to the grungy synth of Kaili, there is a defiant disregard for genre or convention.
It almost seems as if his aim on this record is to create a percussive flow, channeling all his multi-instrumental skills into rhythm and syncopation. Although the album occasionally trails off slightly, there are more than enough moments of sun-kissed beauty and sonic originality to set Swim apart as an early summer soundtrack – further proof that, unlike his reindeer namesake, Caribou isn't one to follow the crowd. [Nick Mitchell]