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Album Review: Caribou - Suddenly

26 February 2020 | 3:30 pm | Christopher H James

"[L]ike catching up with an old friend."

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Suddenly is like catching up with an old friend who, despite outward appearances, has remained unchanged at heart. Dan Snaith’s music has taken many forms, from glitchy electronica, through his psyche-folk phase to pop bangers and forays into dance music. Suddenly is again different, yet strangely recognisable. As an album dedicated to moments of dramatic and unexpected change in life, it makes for a jarring first listen that makes you wonder what's coming next, from the surprise R&B samples on Home to the wayward pitch-bending guitar solo of Like I Loved You

But there are familiar elements from each stage of his career, such as the bursts of rhythm on New Jade that hark back to Snaith’s '00s live shows, of which a reliable highlight was always his eyes-closed-in-ecstasy drum solos. His ear for the inexplicably catchy off-kilter melodies of Swim and Our Love is keenest on cuts like Home. And then there’s his almost frail, wraith-like voice contrasting against the driving Italo house piano chords of Never Come Back.

Despite the curveballs, there’s a welcoming quality in Suddenly that runs through all Snaith’s music like a golden thread.