Review: Caribou – “Our Love” (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

Review: Caribou – “Our Love” (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

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Caribou: Our Love

Until last week, my awareness of Caribou consisted seeing them a couple of times at festivals and putting them on my ever expanding ‘I must remember to look them up when I get home’ list. I made the fortunate decision of picking up Our Love and have been struggling to take it off my proverbial record player, and by that I mean my Steve Jobs Music Box Classic, ever since.

The man behind the curtain, Dan Snaith, is intriguing in the respect that he doesn’t fit the musician archetype in the slightest – a teetotaller with a doctorate in maths, he reportedly keeps his band entertained on tour by inviting lecturers onto their bus to give presentations on Marxism and economics. Hendrix he ain’t, but boy can the man make music.

The album opens with ‘Can’t Do Without You’, maybe the most straightforward offering of the collection, initially adhering to a deceptively simple house structure, the bass synth builds the track into a gorgeous Bonobo-esque maelstrom which lets you know you are in for a ride.

A key component of the record is subversion – many of the songs start on a road well travelled and end up in a bizarre cul de sac. ‘Our Love’ starts as a deceptively simple club anthem, before the detuned vocals build a poly-rhythm of their own, and bursts of orchestral flourishes, courtesy of the avant-garde pop nutter Owen Pallet, used so sparingly you could have almost have imagined it. ‘Second Chance’, the ear bending key change sends ripples down the song, turning what could be 90s Christina Aguilera into a weird breed of wonk pop.

There are a couple of curious instrumentals, like ‘Dive’, which is reminiscent of Purity Ring’s brand of post-RnB (again my own nomenclature) and ‘Julia Brightly’, which sounds like it would belong on the soundtrack if Danny Boyle made a good film again. These interludes that may on first listen may sound like a wasted opportunity, add colour to the album on repeat listens.

One of the triumphs of the record is that at moments (such as in ‘Mars’ and the closer ‘Your Love Will Set You Free’) it sounds like a 70s proggy afrobeat demon playing different film soundtracks at the same time, yet somehow it never loses cohesion or purpose.

My personal highlight is ‘Back Home’, which channels the simple modern soul songwriting of Jungle and the pulsating synths of Jai Paul and mixes them in what David Brent would call the melting pot to glorious effect. Here Mr / Dr Snaith has somehow turned something private and confessional into something warm and celebratory, which is no mean feat.

Using the official Phoria rating system as created by this fine young man, I give this shimmering spectral sex-pop album four Mickeys!


This post was written by Jeb Hardwick of Phoria, as part of their Takeover of Indie Music Filter.  Follow them on twitter here.

phoria1 Review: Caribou   Our Love (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

Video: “Tools” by Yellerkin

Video: “Tools” by Yellerkin

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Last month, I came across the song “Tools” from Brooklyn band Yellerkin and got hooked on the song.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a big fan of Hooray For Earth, which I hear in Yellerkin‘s killer single here.   As of last week the song has a video, which has the band freaking out in the woods under spotlights.

Band to watch at CMJ for sure, wish I were going!

New EP From KASHKA feat. “Salmon Arms” (Acoustic)

New EP From KASHKA feat. “Salmon Arms” (Acoustic)

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Kat Burns, aka KASHKA is celebrating the one year anniversary of her album “Bound” by releasing an acoustic EP of select tracks.  The EP, “Bones” will be released on the 28th of October on her own imprint, Play the Triangle Music.  Fans can pre-order the album as of the 21st of October, with special limited edition treats up for grabs; from a hand made CD version to a original painting of the fan’s name, signed by Burns.

KASHKA will be performing an acoustic set, and an electro set on November 9th at the Drake Underground.  Tickets for that are available at Soundscapes or here.

Currently Listening To: Cash+David

Currently Listening To: Cash+David

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Tim Ross (Cash) and Liz Lawrence (David) are London electronic duo Cash+David, who are about to release a new single (“Bones”) on December 8 2014, through their own label.  “Bones” is the follow-up to previous single “Pulse”, which topped Hype Machine’s charts (which I evidently missed the boat on).   Better late than never.

Video: “Vessel” by Dan Mangan + Blacksmith

Video: “Vessel” by Dan Mangan + Blacksmith

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“Vessel” by Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, off the album Club Meds (available January 2015).

Of the video, director Ben Clarkson says: “It is complicated to open a conversation about the way we depict our history and our identity. Stories are powerful, and the way histories are told often reinforce the power of the powerful. How we tell the story, how our oral, written and visual traditions transmit interpretations of the past affects our behaviour, our ontology, here in the present. I would love to discuss how there are different histories. I believe that the quiet stability that many of us enjoy is a phantasm. I believe we have a great deal of work to do in order to live with one another in a way that agrees with our values (or the values we’d like to have). History is not finished and we must take ownership of it, or others will do it for us.”