Caribou: ‘Our Love’


“‘Our Love’ finds Snaith at the height of his powers. “Silver” is an undulating, synth-based track that floats above itself as though in a dream, and the percussive “Mars” recalls ‘Swim’s’ dizzying “Sun.”

It’s hard getting past the euphoric “Can’t Do Without You” that opens ‘Our Love’ and into the rest of its spacious, infectious expanse. The opening track of Dan Snaith’s fourth album as Caribou is liquid MDMA, a titanic song that takes one simple loop, ‘I can’t do without you,’ and builds it up to dancefloor-filling capacity. Its repeated refrain is endlessly explorable, taking over your entire concentration for its four-minute running time.

Unlike most modern dance tracks, however, you can listen to “Can’t Do Without You” a hundred times without getting sick of it, even though it never really reaches a climax, or even a chorus. It’s the sonic equivalent of getting ready; it builds and builds without really ending up anywhere. EDM-heads that are all about the drop will wonder what’s the point, but Snaith has carved out a very different kind of electronic music with ‘Our Love’ that echoes life: it’s not about the destination, it’s about getting there. “Can’t Do Without You” has only been around for a couple of months, but it already feels like one of the best songs of the decade.

The rest of ‘Our Love’ proves that Snaith is worthy of this high praise. 35, married, and with kids, he seems like an unlikely character to be creating some of the most forward-thinking electronic music around today. Though 2010’s ‘Swim’ was considerably dance-influenced, Snaith’s background is playing in alternative rock bands, and he holds a PhD in Mathematics. A Canadian, Snaith moved to London in 2001, where he took cues from Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet), one of his closest friends. Since 2005’s ‘The Milk of Human Kindness,’ Snaith has been quietly creating some of the most astonishing electronic music of the last decade as Caribou, as well as under his dance alias, Daphni.

‘Our Love’ finds Snaith at the height of his powers. “Silver” is an undulating, synth-based track that floats above itself as though in a dream, and the percussive “Mars” recalls ‘Swim’s’ dizzying “Sun.” Title track “Our Love” perfectly thematizes the album, both in its depiction of a shared love and in its rhythmic pulse: the fractured bass and snare that define the genre, and makes those in the room want to dance.

The sexy “Second Chance” features the brilliant-in-her-own-right Jessy Lanza singing “Tell me if you really want it / Cause boy you know I do” and draws a connection to FKA twigs’ cavernous debut from earlier this year. The two-minute-long “Julia Brightly” sounds like it arrives from another planet, looping just a couple of words into its soundscape so many times they become incomprehendable. “Back Home” and “Your Love Will Set You Free” offer a compelling conclusion and a soundtrack for the end of the night.

But ‘Our Love’ finds its whole through its simple but effective theme: group love. Dance music has never been this inviting, this shareable, and this appreciable among a wide audience that ranges from indie to electronic lovers. This is music that brings people together, and some of its most prolific tracks could be stretched out to seven or eight minutes without losing their interest. “Can’t Do Without You” never wants to end, and “Our Love” already feels like a post-disco classic, but they’ll get the remix treatment, and have already been given extended mixes by Snaith’s Daphni persona. ‘Our Love’ is a dance album that feels club-ready, and yet so real that it echoes daily life. It’s the kind of album that you dance to with your best friends at the end of the night.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s