Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool

1035x1035-radiohead-new-album-a-moon-shaped-pool-download-stream-640x640Radiohead’s first new album since 2011’s The King of Limbs is both dazzling and extraordinary. It’s been a long time coming. Back in October of last year people started speculating that a new Radiohead album was in the works when the band created a new company, Dawn Chorus LLP, something they had done before independently releasing both In Rainbows and The King of Limbs. In February, they established a second company, Dawnnchoruss Ltd., which suggested to fans that the new album was imminent. And then finally, on May 8 (Mother’s Day), after a short rollout with two singles released in the previous week, they gave us A Moon Shaped Pool.

A Moon Shaped Pool is quite different from the Radiohead albums we’ve become accustomed to since the early 2000’s—post-Kid A. In many ways it’s a return to the earlier stuff, and particularly the Kid A sessions, which produced both Kid A and the following year’s Amnesiac. For one, this album is bookended by two songs that have been floating around and teased by the band for over a decade: the unsettling and politically timely “Burn the Witch,” and the heartbreaking “True Love Waits,” which first appeared on 2001’s I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings. “Identikit” is another rarity that the band have been playing live for a number of years, and is a definite stand-out. However, there are lots of great new songs here as well that fit seamlessly together with the older stuff.

This album all but abandons the drum machines and electronic music that Thom Yorke was beginning to gravitate towards on Hail to the ThiefIn Rainbows, and, most notably, The King of Limbs, as well as his solo albums The Eraser and Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes and his Atoms for Peace project with Flea, which released their debut album, Amok, in 2013. Instead, it’s a return to the earlier, more guitar-based music of the Kid A sessions and the even earlier albums that made Radiohead the biggest band to emerge out of the 90s. In December 2015, Thom Yorke played an acoustic concert for Pathway to Paris, a climate change benefit held at Le Trianon, at which he showcased the new direction with acoustic performances of “Desert Island Disk” and “Silent Spring” from the new album, perhaps its most powerful new song, which has since been renamed “The Numbers.”

The performances at Le Trianon also showed us a more political Yorke, and one who has perhaps finally found his cause: climate change. The father and musician got emotional talking about his son asking him about global warming and what he feels is his responsibility to the planet and to future generations. “Silent Spring,” which appears as “The Numbers” on A Moon Shaped Pool, is a kind of folk-protest song in the vein of Patti Smith, taking the line “People have the power” and giving it a new significance for the modern crises facing us in 2016. The orchestral arrangements on the album version give it an even greater power, as the strings grow in intensity alongside the track’s most inspiring call-to-action lines. “The numbers don’t decide / Your system is a lie” sings Yorke in a moment of clarity, a rallying cry against the lobbyists and special interest groups that currently control the political system.

A Moon Shaped Pool is perhaps Radiohead’s most ambitious album to date, coalescing songs that have been floating in the ether for more than a decade with new and politically-informed material. What’s striking about it is the way it harnesses the old and the new to create something that’s both timely and socially conscious as well as deeply personal and intimate; reviewers have already speculated that the inclusion of “True Love Waits” as the album’s conclusion is a result of Yorke’s recent divorce, and that he’s laying it all bare for us here—although in typical Radiohead-fashion it’s through a cryptic reference in a 15-year-old song. However, A Moon Shaped Pool is noticeably darker than Yorke’s most recent solo work, a fact Nigel Godrich was alluding to when he suggested that part of his soul lives in it as a result of his father’s recent passing.

It’s a difficult album to listen to at times—both emotionally raw and deeply complex. There are vocal parts played backwards, massive orchestras and choirs, and hidden references for fans that know the back catalogue inside out. But as always, it’s worth the time getting to know, as an increasingly rare release from what remains the most exciting band in the world. On A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead remind us of how they got there, and lend their uniquely political voice to a challenging and uncertain time, and the result is both unsettling and deeply cathartic.

Revisit “Kendrick Lamar, M.I.A., and the Politicization of Popular Music,” which features Thom Yorke, here.

Kendrick Lamar: untitled unmastered.

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly camekendrick-lamar-untitled-unmastered-surprise-new-album-compressed1-compressed
out a little less than a year ago, on March 15, 2015. The impact it’s had on black music over the past year is incredible. It arguably helped to bring jazz music back into the mainstream, and created success for jazz musicians like Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin, and Thundercat. Even an album like Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution wouldn’t be able to achieve the kind of success (both critical and commercial) that it can now, arguably, without TPAB. It only makes sense that a year on, Lamar should release what is essentially the To Pimp A Butterfly demos: untitled, unfinished and unmastered–the raw b-sides and outtakes that didn’t quite make the album.

It begins with a sexual spoken word intro over some light jazz before Lamar steps in. From the outset, “Untitled 1” establishes untitled unmastered. as an extension of TPAB; the backing track sounds familiar, and Kendrick’s rapping style matches that of the album. “Untitled 2” quickly rose to the top of the charts, and there’s a reason: it’s easily the most bass-heavy track on the album, and in some ways more so than anything on To Pimp A Butterfly. On it, Lamar swaps styles effortlessly, imbuing it with a sense of political commentary in the line “World is going crazy / Where did we go wrong?” while maintaining his terrific sense of pacing and the dialectic between the political and the personal Lamar.

“Untitled 3” is a major standout. Here, Lamar only gets more political, but through a philosophical lens, in which he imagines the definition of success through racialized groups of people. “The asian” sees success as coming from within, and worries about Lamar’s health; “The indian” understands power as being in the land (“Longevity’s in the dirt”), and tells Lamar to invest; “The black man” is motivated by sex (“A piece of pussy / That’s what the black man said I needed to push me”) and talks about living in the jungle and “playing in the peach;” “The white man” wants to make money off him (“Telling me that he selling me just for $10.99”) and causes him to “put a price on [his] talent.”

“I hit the bank and withdraw,” Lamar repeats as the track reaches its climax. “Put myself in the rocket ship and I shot for the stars,” he says, referring now to his personal success. On the song’s outro, Lamar validates “the black man’s” desire for sex as a basic need for reproduction: “Tell em we don’t die / We multiply,” and affirms the survival of the species. Running underneath the surface is a commentary on black extinction, both culturally and ethnically, as blacks are being shot everyday, but are also struggling to hold onto their culture, as black music is appropriated and taken over by the dominant culture.

On tracks 4 and 5 he extends these themes, and eventually treats them humorously in the outro to “Untitled 7.” “Untitled 5” is soulful and smooth, and sounds the most finished of all the songs on the album, bringing up the question of why he didn’t include it on TPAB.  Track 8 is from his most recent performance at the Grammys, and is fleshed out here, offering a catchy and compelling conclusion. Perhaps the best thing about this project, though, is what it does to Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo. When Kendrick Lamar can drop a brilliant 8-track album of TPAB demos out of nowhere, it makes TLOP, a forever-streaming Tidal exclusive, and its creator, the abominable West, irrelevant. Lamar has proven again and again that he’s Top Dawg of the rap world, and with untitled unmastered. he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

DIIV: Is the Is Are

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urlDIIV released the follow-up to 2012’s excellent Oshin today, Is the Is Are, a spanning, double album that fleshes out the sound they developed on Oshin. Since then, Zachary Cole Smith started dating Sky Ferreira, and the two of them were arrested on drug charges in 2013, Smith being found in possession of “42 decks” of heroin. Ferreira appears on “Blue Boredom” on Is the Is Are, a drug-addled track, but then again, isn’t that what every DIIV song sounds like really (and Ferreira herself)? Drugged-out music has the ability to be very relaxing sometimes, as is the case with Is the Is Are, a shoegazy, blissed-out kind of indie rock in the vein of Mac DeMarco and Real Estate. And there are some great tracks here. The pre-album singles included “Under the Sun,” “Mire (Grant’s Song),” “Bent (Roi’s Song),” and “Dopamine,” but what about the middle-of-album tracks “Yr Not Far” and “Take Your Time,” which come right before title track “Is the Is Are”? The whole album is sonically enveloping, made up of lush guitar sounds and affected vocals, and DIIVes into every corner of the soaring sound they’ve carved out for themselves.

The lyrics, however, can be sparse. On “Mire,” Smith sings, “I was blind and now I see / You made a believer out of me” over and over again as the song’s guitar melody becomes more and more unhinged, echoing the lyrics in the following line, “I was so high / now I feel low, and the way the track seems to deconstruct itself in its final minutes, almost droning itself out until the guitar turns into primal warblings and the vocals become so washed out that we’re not even sure if its Smith singing anymore; it could be Ferreira, the other half of his drugged-out trips and the only person who can bring him back down to earth. It’s an impression we’re left with on much of the album, the feeling that we’re sort of in limbo, confused and high and not really sure how to get where we’re going.

Bloc Party: Hymns

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homepage_large.e64cf1bcBritish indie-rockers Bloc Party returned today with a brand new album called Hymns, although the lineup is very different from the Bloc Party most know from albums like Silent Alarm, A Weekend in the CityIntimacy, and their most recent tour in 2013. After a 2 and a half year long hiatus, during which both drummer Matt Tong and bassist Gordon Moakes left the band, the new Bloc Party sounds more like frontman Kele Okereke’s solo material than the “return to form” they were beginning to make on Four and The Nextwave Sessions EPHymnsmuch like Okereke’s solo material, veers toward the poppy, but, also much like the solo stuff, ends up sounding like angsty club music, and has lost all the edginess that made Bloc Party Bloc Party. The evangelical religious undertones on the new album do nothing for Okereke’s often-criticized songwriting and the vocals don’t make up for the simplicity (as with his solo material). But where Hymns ultimately fails is in the sense that its not really a Bloc Party album, and doesn’t signal their return, but rather, a continuation of Okereke’s solo project under the Bloc Party name.

Anderson .Paak: Malibu

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Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly arguably opened a lot of doors for a number of experimental hip-hop albums. Some of the artists who worked on that album have gone on to release masterpieces of their own, such as Thundercat, and Kamasi Washington, with his three-hour experimental jazz album The Epic. Out of nowhere, it seems, comes Anderson .Paak’s Malibu, a soulful, jazzy, and beautifully breezy hip-hop record that at times sounds like Lamar’s TPAB, and at other times like something else entirely. Fusing hip-hop, jazz, rap, R&B, and soul, Malibu is a shining example of everything a hip-hop album can be in 2016.

It opens with “The Bird,” a jazzy, anderson-cover
head-bobbing intro that seems to channel D’Angelo’s soulful vocal style. “Heart Don’t Stand A Chance” further shows off .Paak’s vocal chops, and culminates in a spinning electronic bridge with a rapped-over hook. Then, on “The Waters (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid),” .Paak really gets started. The spoken word transitions and jazzy interludes on this album give it another connection to TPAB: this is a concept album, in the only real sense of that term in that its an album that asks to be digested in one sitting, the tracks coming where they do for a reason. .Paak, much like Lamar, is playing with form.

The Season | Carry Me” exemplifies this playfulness, and even includes a shout-out to Lamar in the line “‘Bout the year Drizzy and Cole dropped / Before K.Dot had it locked.” .Paak even begins to sound like Lamar in places where he’s straight rapping, but has a remarkable vocal range (the kind that made Lamar himself so versatile) and changes his style on almost every song. “Am I Wrong (feat. SchoolBoy Q)” is an early stand-out, and a celebration, with funky horns and a catchy chorus. This is an album to throw on for your next party: you can groove to it on a first listen, and it demands attention even when there’s a lot else going on.

And there’s a lot going on on this album. The middle-section has everything it needs to slip into the background, in the best possible way, because unlike the incredibly dense middle-section of To Pimp A Butterfly, this is easy listening, and yet at the same time it sounds like an amalgamation of all the best alt-hip hop albums to come out in the last year, from D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, to Miguel’s Wildheart, to Thundercat and Lamar. Of course, .Paak didn’t completely come out of nowhere: he was heavily featured on Dr. Dre’s Compton last year, as well as albums by The Game (featured here on “Room in Here“), and fellow California artist TOKiMONSTA.

.Paak is from Oxnard, not exactly straight outta Compton, but is another powerful voice that can speak to a particular kind of West Coast lifestyle. Malibu nods to the surf-skate culture .Paak grew up with; at the end of album highlight “Come Down,” the announcer-type spoken word outro says, “Before Vietnam, when boards were long and hair was short, the centre of the surfing world was a place called Malibu.” On “Come Down,” .Paak manages to sound both most like Lamar and most like himself: a King Kunta of sorts and a contentious player in the resurging world of West Coast hip hop.

Tame Impala: Currents

Tame Impala: Currents

A psychedelic trip into the mind of Kevin Parker

The latest album from Tame Impala, the recording project of Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker—one of the most pre-eminent rock figures of today, comparable to the Arctic Monkeys two years ago with the release of AM—is nothing short of brilliant.

04192b63A transitional record in every sense, Currents finds Parker exploding under the weight of the pressure from 2013’s Lonerism into another universe altogether—one filled with snappy bass lines, vocal harmonies, and poppy hooks. In short, Parker has gone from an introvert to an extrovert—a guy in his room with a guitar to a glittery, shiny pop star. And it shouldn’t come as any surprise. Tame Impala burst onto the scene in 2010 with Innerspeaker and quickly became the modern kings of psychedelic rock. 2013’s Lonerism rocketed them into further crossover territory with massive hits “Feels Like I Only Go Backwards” and “Elephant.” Earlier this year, Parker appeared on three tracks on Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special (ever heard of a little song called “Uptown Funk”?). But Currents might be Parker’s biggest statement to date.

It begins with “Let It Happen,” a nearly eight-minute-long rollicking track that draws some of its influences from Electronic Dance Music. What follows is a psychedelic—and yet so groovy you could imagine almost every single track on the radio—trip into the mind of a man much more interesting than the introvert in his room with a guitar: a man whose entire world has been catapulted into the stratosphere and who is trying to come to terms with it. “Yes I’m Changing” is a call to action: “There is a world out there it’s calling my name.” And he delivers. Tracks like “The Moment” and “The Less I Know The Better” show off Parker’s ear for crafting perfectly structured pop songs that are ready to be consumed by the masses, while the heartbreaking “Eventually” and introspective “’Cause I’m A Man” find Parker inescapably collapsing into himself.

The transitions are spot-on and some of the only moments Parker picks up his old friend the guitar on Currents, particularly on the minute-and-forty-nine-second-long “Disciples,” which is the most Tame Impala-sounding track on the whole album. Things get weird on “Past Life,” when Parker sheds his Lennon-esque falsetto for an electronically pitched-down spoken word section that is reminiscent of some of the antics of Canadian indie-rock goofball Mac DeMarco—the two have been spending some time together. The album ends strongly with “Reality in Motion,” “Love Paranoia,” and the hopeful “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.”

Parker believes that life is a process of constant reinvention: “They say people never change, but that’s bullshit, they do,” he sings on “Yes I’m Changing.” With Currents, he takes everything that was central to the Tame Impala project and adapts it to the changes in his personal life, the expectation that has come with his burgeoning success, and the current changes to how we experience music—and blasts off into uncharted territory.

Jon Hopkins Releases Hauntingly Beautiful ‘Asleep Versions EP’

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Jon Hopkins, the UK producer behind 2013’s excellent Immunity, which has since seen remixes featuring Lulu James and Purity Ring, has now released another follow-up, the Asleep Versions EP, which includes contributions from King Creosote and Raphaelle Standelle. Recorded in Mosfellsbær, Iceland, Asleep Versions takes four of Immunity‘s highlights, “Immunity,” “Form By Firelight,” “Breathe This Air,” and “Open Eye Signal,” and reworks them in reverse order into a single 25-minute-long soundscape. The tracks are stripped down, beat-less frames of their Immunity counterparts, but take on a new life of their own from Hopkins’ original production, further pushing the boundaries of electronic music and aligning Hopkins with the likes of Röyksopp (whose final album, The Inevitable End also came out today) and Sigur Rós.

Watch the trailer, and listen to “Immunity” (with King Creosote) below:



Run the Jewels: ‘Run the Jewels 2’

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The unlikely pair of Killer Mike and EL-P have made a name for themselves as “the jewels runners, top tag team for two summers…”

A few months ago, the hip-hop tag team Run the Jewels (EL-P and Killer Mike) had the internet buzzing when they released the full details of Run the Jewels 2 online, which included a number of ridiculous pre-order packages such as the “Self Righteousness for Sale Package,” priced at $350,000.00 USD, and the “Run the Jewels Retirement Plan Package” for 10 million that would see the pair retire from music to make only one song a year for the lucky owner. However, the packages all come with a disclaimer: “run the jewels reserves the right to take your money and not fulfill any of the obligations outlined in any package priced 35k or more.” Ironically, the only package that garnered a serious response, the “Meow the Jewels Album Package,” is priced at 40k, and promises a re-recorded version of the album where the music is made using only cat sounds. Someone created a Kickstarter, and now EL-P and Killer Mike are looking for tonally-gifted cats. The Kickstarter has surpassed its goal of $40,000 by over 25k, and the project is still receiving funding every day.

Run the Jewels are just doing what they do best: running the motherfucking jewels. The unlikely pair of Killer Mike and EL-P have made a name for themselves as “the jewels runners, top tag team for two summers” with their abrasive style and heavy flow, rapping about crime, sex, and conspiracy with a politically-charged fervor unmatched by any other rappers in the game right now. RTJ2 is a statement stronger than anything they’ve done before, both collectively and independently, and shows them to be in a league of their own within the hip-hop world. If Run the Jewels proved that [they] was fuckin’ brutal,” on RTJ2 they have the authority to back it up, and the sharp-witted lyricism of songs like “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” and “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)” maintains its punch even against EL-P’s hardest-hitting production to date.

The low synth-line of “Jeopardy” opens the album after an introduction by Killer Mike, whose bragging rhymes build into a solo-ing guitar riff and electronically modified horns. EL-P finally comes in after a washed-out break in the middle of the song, establishing two very different rapping voices from the outset, although they merge into one on the following track, “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry,” when EL-P says “I do two things, I rap and fuck,” and Killer Mike picks up where he left off with “I fuckin’ rap.” RTJ2 is full of this interchange between its two main protagonists, “one black, one white,” but both “shoot[ing] to kill,” and Run the Jewels uses their dynamic to go straight for the jugular, taking down any and all systems of power in their wake.

Guest spots are filled judiciously: Rage Against the Machine’s Zach De La Rocha appears for a verse on “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck),” Travis Barker of Blink-182 drums on “All Due Respect,” and Gangsta Boo features on the sexually-overt-to-the-point-of-being-cringe-worthy “Love Again (Akinyele Back).” Beyonce-collaborator BOOTS takes the production to another level on “Early,” and Foxygen’s Diane Coffee adds to the slower vibe of “Crown.” “Angel Duster” ends the album with a trap-acid-jazz feel in a similar vein to Flying Lotus, jamming out on a jazzy keyboard line and a classic Run the Jewels repeated loop for the album’s final minute and a half.

The funny joke-turned-PR-stunt that has accrued so much of the hype for RTJ2 and its forthcoming Meow the Jewels remix album have only propelled Run the Jewels into new crossover territory; their latest announcement was for a project called ‘Tag the Jewels,’ for which graffiti artists all over the world have been enlisted to put up graffiti representations of the album’s cover. All of this shows that Run the Jewels know how to engage a modern audience. But there’s still a hell of a lot of darker social and political commentary running beneath the surface to be discovered.

Childish Gambino: ‘STN MTN / Kauai’

By Pete Moorechildish-gambino-announces-gangsta-grillz-mixtape-stn-mtn-kauai-1

“Full of southern trap inspired sounds and classic mixtape reinterpretations of hit songs…”

Childish Gambino has always kept his fans guessing, and has always kept his fans excited for what is coming next. His last project, ‘Because the Internet’ showcased a new side of Gambino; a side of Gambino that was conceptual, contemplative, focused, and progressive. The album’s multi-layered and multi-media experience had the internet buzzing. So when less than a year after his 2nd studio album he started hinting towards the release of a mysterious project he was working on, there was no shortage of excitement. With no release date, the project’s sudden appearance online came as a pleasant surprise to everyone.

‘STN MTN / Kauai’ is a double sided project with the ‘STN MTN’ side as a Gangsta Grillz mixtape complete with commentary from DJ Drama and the famous “gansta gizzle” ad lib from Lil Jon. However, what comes off as a “ROYALTY” mixtape rehash goes deeper than what may come out on the first listen. The albums starts with a monologue where CG depicts a dream of Atlanta throwbacks. In this same dream he says he had his own Gangsta Grillz mixtape. By abruptly ending the album on “Go DJ” with the words “… and then I woke up”, he creates this meta, inception-like, “was it real” concept to just mess with your brain.

Concept aside, Gambino’s intent on the mixtape seems to be to prove that he is bonafide Atlanta. Full of southern trap inspired sounds and classic mixtape reinterpretations of hit songs, the album strategically starts with Gambino spitting over top of Ludacris’ classic “Southern Hospitality” and then transitions to “Partna Dem” by Rich Kidz, both Atlanta artists. ‘STN MTN’ is full of great gems. Where “U Don’t Have to Call” gives us a taste of the softer side of Gambino we might be more familiar with, “All Y’all” encapsulates the Gangsta Grillz feel perfectly. The mixtape can loosely be summarized by the line “God damn, I’m just being who I am / From that weird ass little kid to this ballin’ ass grown man” which speaks to the establishment of a tougher, Atlanta born-and-raised side of Gambino that we are presented with.

Despite this portrait ‘STN MTN’ gives us, ‘Kauai,’ the B-Side EP of this project, presents us with an entirely new style. Starting off with his single “Sober”, which sounds like a Bruno Mars and Kanye West collaboration, the tone is set early for this part of the project. With a singing to rapping ratio at about 3:1, ‘Kauai’ shows a much more poppy side of Gambino, and with “The Palisades” sounding like an early 2000s Justin Timberlake throw-away instrumental, this side of Gambino seems to draw influence from many pop icons. The album also adds to the story of The Boy, the protagonist from ‘Because the Internet.’ However, this time he is portrayed by internet legend Jaden Smith, who contributes some spoken word that tells the story of an adolescent boy on the beach with a girl in Kauai. Despite this silliness, ‘Kauai’ does have some replay value with songs like “Poke”, an OutKast-esque jam with an awesome verse from Gambino’s brother Steve G Lover.

Perhaps Gambino’s most braggadocious (but sincere) statement on the entire project comes on “Move That Dope / Nectel Chirp / Let Your Hair Blow” when he raps “I’m just making culture.” Gambino is pushing the boundaries of Hip-Hop, embracing new forms of marketing and exploring new musical frontiers. Although musically this might not be Childish Gambino’s most solid effort, experimentally it goes above and beyond. What the sudden release of ‘STN MTN / Kauai’ proves to Childish Gambino fans is not only is he embracing yet another (or two) new phases of artistry, but that after all he’s put us through, he still has a number of tricks under his sleeve.

Caribou: ‘Our Love’

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“‘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.