Caribou
Swim


4.0
excellent

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
April 20th, 2010 | 137 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


Daniel Snaith's entire career has been effectively built upon transitions, whether they be artistic or just in name. His newest statement is no different: basically an inverse of Andorra, Snaith takes an obvious path by creating a caliginous counterpoint to its sunshiny predecessor. But what's really astonishing is the deftness with which he pulls this off. Snaith, taking clear-cut influences from artists like Luomo and Arthur Russell, crafts a venerable disco-slash-house album here, one that booms and shudders with the effectiveness of all great house records, yet without all the swagger. Snaith's demure vocals ground the driven arrangements of songs like "Leave House" and "Odessa", never overwhelming the minimalist beats but instead providing a sort of fortitude. Yet there's still a lingering feeling of fragility in his vocals, as if "Kaili", and its endlessly protruding rainbow of various instruments (which punctuate the scanty beats distressfully, but in a good way, mind you), is due to fall apart at any given moment.

This gives Swim a feel of abstraction that doesn't let the album gel together, despite its similar sound and aesthetic throughout. This is a good thing: Swim is the kind of minimalist record that could go gravely wrong if handled inappropriately; without enough flair, it could've been sort of a drag (for example, there's "Bowls", which is the one song on the album that drags its feet). But Snaith is apparently blessed with two things that prevent Swim from becoming a travesty: his skill at engaging a sort of wistful nostalgia ("Hannibal", "Sun", "Lalibela"), and his prevailing melodic sense. The former point helps those aforementioned songs never even approach monotony, but it's the latter that's truly the clincher. There isn't a song on Swim that isn't at least catchy, and however dissatisfied you may be with the album's atmosphere, you'll hum along with the hooks anyways.

Swim is quite dark; this is definitely pop of the bedroom sort, and despite Snaith's vocals usually being indecipherable, buried underneath hissing drum machines and meretricious synths, there's a pervading sense of intimacy to the whole thing. I've returned time and time again to Swim precisely because of this, this feeling of invitational bliss that you rarely receive for an album like this one. And I'm certain you'll return for the same reasons as well.

Also, it's great to get stoned to.



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Caribou's abstraction is at its peak of accessibility, so go ahead, dive in....


Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
April 20th 2010


3742 Comments


123 lewis

everyone get this album

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


10543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how house is this

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Waior
April 20th 2010


11461 Comments


an appropriate closing line indeed

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Second Sight

Kiran
Emeritus
April 20th 2010


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sooooooooo chill

Digging: Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how house is this

Its not

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


10543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah that's what i thought

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


15067 Comments


But it's the deftness with which he pulls it off is what's really astonishing.


read this sentence again?

one that booms and shudders with effectiveness of all great house record


with the* effectiveness?

Swim is quite dark: this is definitely pop of the bedroom sort, and despite Snaith's vocals
usually
being indecipherable, buried underneath hissing drum machines and meretricious synths, there's a
pervading sense of intimacy to the whole thing.


in a way, i dont get this; you start off by saying it's dark but finish the sentence with proof as
to why it's 'intimate'. unless the intimacy of the record lends itself to the darkness? i'm not even
sure it's a problem, and, if so, it's not a very big one, but just something.

overall good review, but in a way it seemed a little too deliberately verbose which might lose the
reader the tiniest bit? still i liked it, and in a way if it werent for that quality, the last line
wouldn't work so well.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Klap: still good though

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


10543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah it's very chill

joshuatree
Emeritus
April 20th 2010


3742 Comments


Its not


can't deny the influences
and thx robertsona. i'm not trying to finish that sentence with proof but that's actually a typo

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 20th 2010


3776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lovelovelove

I like this alot better than Andorra. Which I've decided I like after listening to this.

plane
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


6099 Comments


123 you

Roach
April 20th 2010


2148 Comments


does anyone else apart from me like fidget house [which is nothign like this]

good album, great artist

NortherlyNanook
April 20th 2010


1285 Comments


nice

this album's sick

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

does anyone else apart from me like fidget house

I'm quite partial to Herve, so yeah

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


28775 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

single is free on itunes this week

Ghostechoes
April 20th 2010


1353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As awesome as Andorra, if not a bit more. It must be cool to be a Ph.D. in Mathematics and also a successful musician.

plane
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


6099 Comments


Floors Andorra in my opinion. Could never get too into that album.

Ghostechoes
April 20th 2010


1353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have you listened to his recordings as Manitoba?

kitsch
April 21st 2010


5107 Comments


want this real bad



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