Fifteen years ago when we heard the first Caribou album The Milk of Human Kindness, we knew that the group was made up of something special. Over the years as albums have come out, the importance of the group has been shown by how hard the albums hit when they drop. Now with larger spaces of time between them, 2020 feels like the perfect time for a new album. Between the politicized and at times stark argumentative states in which people carry themselves, Dan Snaith has delivered Suddenly. What you notice aside from the ornate arrangements, is that chill dance pop fits perfectly in these trying times.
The twelve track album opens with an easy going and intimate song, “Sister.” However, as gentle and stark as that song seems, Caribou lends heavier on their core dance tones with “You and I.” The track has a bleed in how it sneaks up on you. Snaith has evolved yet again, here building a more composition based pace. The album is rife with these structures, never really going for the jugular. It all works, taking your ears to a happier place without burning the house down.
The almost break beat notes of “New Jade,” the lounge heavy neo disco of “Lime” and the delicate chords of “Magpie” all stay with you as soon as they hit your eras. But with these complex builds in soundscapes, the real winner here comes on “Like I Loved You.” Somewhere between hip hop beats and late eighties synths, Snaith offers those encapsulating soft vocals to draw you closer. These clusters of dark bops hop in and out while the track constructs itself to a chill jam that’s difficult to beat. There’s a lot here, all carefully constructed enough to keep repeating well after the first listen.
Suddenly is ready for physical purchase from Merge Records. It’s also ready to stream or purchase digitally. Caribou is on tour at Studio Theatre on March 16 in Hamilton, ON. The tour continues until August 21 through 23 at Lowlands Festival in Biddinghuizen, NL. The tour dates in their entirety are located here.
Image Credits: Photo by Thomas Neukum.