Saturday, November 01, 2014

Song of the day

"Second Chance", by Caribou.

The new Caribou album, "Our Love", is another advertisement for listening to music on compact disc on a home stereo system. (While either of those thing still exist.) It contains the most sumptuous, perfectly wrought sounds you could ever expect to hear. (For any Snaith fans who were put off by the jagged edges of his recent output under the Daphni moniker this should come as a welcome surprise.) It also might be the best album of 2014. And it does all of these things without drawing attention to itself.

What it also is is a demonstration of a unique planetary system, made up of Dan Snaith, Kieran Hebden and Jeremy Greenspan. These three individuals seem to be in permanent orbit around each other, sometimes drifting out onto distant arcs, sometimes crossing paths in close proximity for a fleeting moment, for a remix of one another's tracks or just for the purposes of cross-pollination.

From time to time, other celestial bodies wander into their orbit, one of whom, Jessy Lanza (responsible for one of my favourite albums of last year, which just happened to be co-written and co-produced by Greenspan), provides vocals on this song. And what a song it is: in a slightly alternate universe it could be a diva-pop smash; most of the elements are intact. Melody has long been at the forefront of his work (see, in particular, the psychedelic-pop splendour of the "Andorra" album) and this song takes those ideas to the next level. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, it isn't played entirely straight: note the synthesisers that wander slightly out of tune, as if to remind you what you are listening to, and so that you don't get too comfortable. Still, it is, on reflection, rather a long way from "glitch-pop".