Caribou is the new moniker for Dan Snaith, post-Manitoba, after he bowed out of a potential legal battle with Handsome “Dick” Manitoba, frontman for the punk group The Dictators. No, I am not making that up.
Dan Snaith is one of those people who make me feel inferior. He is a multi-talented, successful, touring musician and has a PhD in… mathematics. Why you gotta be smart AND good at everything musically, Dan?
A Washington Post article also included a line about Snaith’s prolific approach to writing music, saying he had – and get this – some 700 unfinished songs that didn’t make the album. And if it’s in WaPo, obviously it must be true (actually just wanted an excuse to use the term WaPo, so, thanks Dan).
He even conquered swimming. As the story goes, prior to release of Swim, the third album under the Caribou name, Snaith couldn’t swim very well. His wife paid for lessons and thus, Snaith swam.
But can he dive?
Intelligent dance is one of those genres that’s tough to write about- in my opinion at least. It must be heard to be experienced. It’s not like metal where even the word itself conjures up some type of classic image of Metallica or 80s hair bands.
What I can say is that Caribou is known for dense, industrial soundscapes and frequent breakbeats.
Swim begins with its best song, and from there begins a minor descent down a shallow hill. Overall, the album is wrought with solid, viable tracks from end to end. There isn’t a song on here that doesn’t belong or doesn’t, in some way, pull its weight.
But nothing past track one captures the essence of Caribou as well as “Odessa.”
Have a listen if you’re in a reflective or introspective mood. Swim is a delight.
Here’s “Odessa” from Swim:
Standout tracks: “Odessa” and “Found Out”
Weakest track: N/A
RIYL: Psychedelia, electronica, shoegaze, IDM (the dance version – not death metal). Manitoba, Four Tet, LCD Soundsystem. It’s probably a stretch, but some songs have elements of chillwave (“Bowls” for example). Not prevalent, but it’s there. In that case, more recs: Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, Twin Shadow.