CARIBOU

Swim

Merge Records

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Swim takes the seemingly illogical step of stripping away most of the layers, stretching the songs out, and leaving the stuffy '60s sitting room for a glittering, pulsating dancefloor. Not that he’s completely left behind the Andorra sound; there are moments, like on the chorus of "Kaili," where it is obvious you are listening to a record by someone who has a deep knowledge of Wimple Winch B-sides. What becomes clear after the first listen or two though is that Swim combines all the elements of Caribou’s past (the left-field IDM of Start Breaking My Heart, the shimmering neo-shoegaze of Up in Flames, the spare Krautrock on Milk of Human Kindness, and the songcraft of Andorra) into a compelling batch of songs that sound good over headphones and might even work better in a club full of discerning dancers.

The arrangements are predictably inventive and suitably thoughtful, with plenty of odd sounds and an interesting juxtaposition of instruments, but there’s a slinky groove underpinning the bulk of the record that will get feet moving. The funky, late-night groover "Odessa" could be a hit too in some magical land where dance music fans reward sincerely weird songs with chart success. So could "Leave House," a super-catchy dance-pop track that sounds like a classic Hot Chip jam, all rubbery bass and surprisingly forceful pop-soul vocals. The rest of the album is filled with quietly stunning songs that are dazzling on the surface, but also reward close listening. 

RIYL Four Tet, Floating Points, U.S Girls

Tracklisting 

  1. Odessa 
  2. Sun 
  3. Kaili 
  4. Found Out 
  5. Bowls 
  6. Leave House 
  7. Hannibal 
  8. Lalibela 
  9. Jamelia