Building upon a similar stylistic palette to the acclaimed Swim album, on Our Love Caribou (aka Canadian ex-pat Dan Snaith) delves even deeper into emotional and nostalgic territory. Drawing more on classic house and early '80s R&B and boogie in place of Swim's alt-disco Arthur Russell-isms, or Andorra's psych-rock, it seems as if Snaith is subconsciously skipping forward a half-decade in references with each consecutive Caribou release. Despite the album's often personal and melancholic air on broodier tracks such as "Silver" and "Dive," Our Love is also loaded with fun, accessible dance numbers. Take the title track, which begins as a wistful, melancholic ode supported by Owen Pallett's subtle string work but gradually builds into something of an homage to Inner City's house/techno classic "Good Life."
On "Second Chance," vocals from Hamilton's Jessy Lanza up the ante in the R&B stakes with a surprisingly stirring collaboration. The instrumental "Mars," this album's "Sun," places a medieval-sounding flute loop over some fantastic drum work; elsewhere, vocal tracks like "Back Home" and "Can't Do Without You" showcase Snaith's knack for songwriting. Our Love is built on mutually supportive juxtapositions — the melancholic and the euphoric sit side by side, and the artistic subtleties and minimal simplicity dovetail harmoniously. The result is one of the most eminently playable and rewarding electronic albums of 2014, and one that respectfully casts a glance backwards while sounding both indelibly contemporary and unmistakably Caribou.
Read our story on Caribou's new album here. (Merge)