Dan Snaith of Caribou has a new album called Suddenly, a project rich with gorgeous production and serious musical chops. Often a mix of jazzy instrumentation, hip hop drums and fuzzy electronics, the best description is smart and funky dance music. Production decisions from detuned leads, distorted textures and rich instrumental layering show off Snaith’s expertise; most of these tracks are perfect aside from a couple of rougher cuts.
“You and I” starts off with steady rock drums, warping synth chords and Snaith’s vocals, about a minute in the song there are 180s into an entirely different groove and aesthetic. This breakup and beat switch keep the song interesting all the way through. “Sunny’s Time” is short, but very sweet. Cool pianos and Snaith’s lowkey vocals beat switch into a trap-influenced drum sequence, ending with smooth and jazzy saxophone. “Magpie” is a slow, yet beat-driven track, laden heavily with Dan’s delicate falsetto. Soft electronics bubble up like clouds around Snaith’s shy vocals.
“Home” has a lot of great RnB samples centered around driving funk groove. Even if a repetitive dance trace overall, the song oozes flair and features stellar production. The lead single “Never Comeback Back” definitely gives off Forever 21 vibes. The beat and chord progressions are obvious and overdone, yet the production is very polished and the song is by no means bad. On “Like I Loved You” Snaith puts his vocal in the full spotlight, sharing a fair amount of vulnerability alongside really neat effected guitar passages. Snaith’s music is at its best when the odd techniques that he utilizes break up the more cliched pop influence.
Suddenly is full of great ideas and well-executed songs. At the core, it is advanced production focused on a fun, low-stakes dance record. Emotional yet light, technical yet uncomplicated, Snaith, as Caribou pulls together the best parts from a wide variety of genres and music ideas, creating a must listen project.