Caribou – Andorra
Caribou (aka Dan Snatih, formerly known as Manitoba) came to prominence back in 2003 with his first album Up in Flames. At the time it was hailed as another great “folk-tronica” album, which basically amounted to electronic music that actually sounded lush and organic. It had a brilliant mashup of rhythms and beats with a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures. Whereas Four Tet’s Rounds album was the forebearer, Up In Flames was much more natural, using analogue drums instead of some of the harsher beats. Now after his second album, Milk Of Human Kindness, we’ve got the new Caribou album Andorra. Interesting title, naming it after a European micronation, but hey I’m not gonna go into it.
What I am going to talk about is how impressed I am with this album. I wasn’t too keen on Milk Of Human Kindness, but I was never able to put my finger on why. Andorra has made me realise that Milk Of Human Kindess was really a collection of soundscapes that never really made any impression on me. Well Andorra does the opposite of that: this is a strange mix of elegant electronic music and Beatles-esque psychedelic music. This has all been bolstered by Dan Snaith contributing more vocals to the songs themselves and combining them to make some lush harmonies. On the choral “Sandy” you can hear two or three vocal lines interweaving with each other to a glorious effect.
The amazing thing is that this is has all been made by one man. Certainly when I listened to a track like “Desiree” I got the feeling that his was all created by a symphonic, big group like the Polyphonic Spree or the Earlies. Andorra is classic stuff, a lot of it recalls a lot of 60’s and 70’s psychedelic music, but it benefits from having clean and crisp production so it never sounds messy and chaotic. It’s never overblown or bombastic though and keeps a measured pace throughout, meaning that there’s no real climaxes or moments that really grabbed me, it was rather a warm feeling coming from the songs that never dissipated.
Caribou – Melody Days: