Dan Snaith, aka Caribou, has started work on a follow-up to 2010's Swim, tentatively slated for a 2013 release. In a recent interview with Exclaim!, the Dundas, ON producer stepped out of rehearsals for his North American tour with Radiohead to sketch an early outline for his eagerly awaited sixth long-player.
"I've been recording for several months, starting different sketches of songs and different ideas," Snaith explains. "The general process for me making an album is to record loads and loads of raw material -- bits of songs, a rhythmic element -- and not really work on finishing any of them; just collect loads of half-finished ideas for six months, and come back later on and see what sticks.
"So I'm still in that phase of collecting a large pool of raw material. It's a stage that I really enjoy, 'cause it's not like I'm feeling pressure to finish a particular thing -- I just want to throw out as many new ideas as possible and enjoy the process of making music."
Of his goals for the album, Snaith adds: "It's the same thing that I always wanna do: I wanna make an album that's a coherent statement, that sits together and that seems new and exciting to me. I realized over the years that if I try and do some particular thing, often that ends up backfiring. I end up doing something I don't like. It's easier for me to let my enthusiasm about music take the lead and point the direction of where things are going."
While keeping tight-lipped on a direction for the record, Snaith divulged a current listening palette ranging from mid-century field recordings to curios from Senegal and South Africa.
"It's overwhelming. There's so much music. And, I dunno what effect this has had on me, but it's become fashionable to be interested in that music again. For a long time there was a kind of taboo, after the... 'Paul Simon-isation' of world music or something. That took a little while for people to be able to be enthusiastic about, without feeling like they were going to WOMAD fest or something."
It's not all state-of-play cultural rumination in Caribou country: despite admitting that even his most populist Toronto concert-going led only as far as the 1,100-capacity Phoenix Theatre, Snaith remains in celebratory spirits of that continent-spanning North American tour opening for Radiohead, which has recently been extended to cover the band's European dates.
"I really like the idea that we're playing to tens of thousands of people who, probably the majority of them, don't know anything about us -- have never heard a minute of us before the moment that we start playing. I like that. I've always liked that about being an opening band: having to win people over in a short space of time, and it's a good asset to have for our show."
He concludes: "I just feel lucky that after ten years, I'm as excited about making new music as I was, maybe even more so. So I just let that enthusiasm lead the way, and in the past that's worked."
Caribou and Radiohead are set to play two Canadian dates this month: June 15 in Montreal and June 16 in Toronto. You can see the complete list of dates here.