By Ross Currie (Host of Salvaged Sounds Tuesday 6:00-7:00PM)
Caribou has returned with another album to feast your ears on with Our Love. Which strikes a fine balance between music that’s in debt to club and dance music culture, but also has its own identity outside those confines and represents the ever-evolving sound that Daniel Snaith has carved out for himself. Four years off of his groundbreaking excursion into the world of club music with Swim and two years off of Daphni’s Jiaolong, a techno inspired club project, Snaith is back at it again to explore the ever evolving sound that we’ve come to expect from Caribou.
“Both Jiaolong and Swim have a big influence from the world of dance music and club music. The Daphni album came entirely out of the fact that I’ve been DJing a lot over the past couple of years,” says Snaith, “Our Love has elements of that, although I was also really excited to get back into writing more conventional song structures like “Silver,” “Back Home,” or “Second Chance,”” he adds. Snaith is quick to point out that he’s not confined by elements that are strictly in debt to dance and club music. “It has that dance music element, but nothing on Our Love is really intended to be purely functional, in the way that the Daphni record was,” says Snaith. This functionality is what allows Caribou to incorporate equal parts club-inspired music and fuse it with Snaith’s own distinct brand of psychedelic electro-soul.
Snaith, spoke about an epiphany he had at the London club Plastic People prior to Swim that influenced his most recent releases. “I had a realization that in a good club with a good sound system, it’s the best listening environment that anyone gets to listen to music in,” says Snaith. Speaking about the use the full frequency range and dynamics that come out of hearing music at loud volumes in a club setting, ultimately influencing how he produces his music.
The addition of Snaith’s own voice on his recordings had become more present on Swim and takes an even more central role on Our Love. Ultimately, the songwriting and lyrical aspect is something that Snaith is still getting used to. “It used to be least favourite aspect of making music,” says Snaith about the lyrics. “But increasingly they’ve become more personal and that has made me more interested in them, and made them more important for me.” The accessible nature of Snaith’s lyrics, adds a certain element of engagement for listeners who are looking for a personal quality that can be difficult to find in purely instrumental dance music. Some of the repeated phrase on cuts like “Your Love Will Set You Free” and “Our Love” also add an almost anthem-like quality resembling vocals found in disco, and early forms of house and garage music.
Caribou will be taking his act on the road with his four-piece touring band in the coming months, stretching out the songs and giving them new life in a live setting. Snaith says he’s specifically avoiding thinking about how his songs might fit into a live setting while producing, which allows for often spontaneous or elaborated versions of the original tracks. “The studio album can be whatever I think is the best version that should be on a recording, to last forever, and the live recording can diverge as much as we want it to,” says Snaith. “We always incorporate that element where things can go wrong and things can change from night to night, which leaves space for performance… I think the music benefits from that when we play live. It’s more loose and we can extrapolate longer versions of the songs as we go,” he adds. Which allows for fans to get a different perspective on the material they’re familiar with, while leaving room for different interpretations from the musicians.
With seven albums under his belt, four as Caribou, two under his previous alias Manitoba and one as Daphni, Snaith continues to grow as an artist and make music that is truly his own while giving back to the listener through a multitude of meanings that can be taken from it. “I’m confident enough in the music that I make now that it means something for me, and people can adopt it and it can mean anything they want it to,” says Snaith. “I’ve really enjoyed the fact that the music I’ve made in the past years since Swim has ended up in places in people lives that I really didn’t expect it to,” adds Snaith. Which is testament to the quality Caribou’s music has in engraining itself in the listener’s psyche, all the while staying true to his own musical identity.