Herd and Heard

Caribous
Holy cow, 2007 is turning into one of the best years for music since… I can’t even remember. 1999? I know I could do a Top 20 right now that I would be completely comfortable with and it’s not even June yet. To be fair, some of them won’t actually be out until later in the year, but still. One of those is Andorra, the new album by Caribou — aka Canadian math whiz and home-studio wunderkind Dan Snaith.

While there were always flashes of brilliance with his records, Snaith has always seemed more interested in the production than the songwriting, with his wondrous wall-of-kitchen-sink filling in the holes where the tune should be. But on Andorra, his fourth album and second since being forced to change his moniker from Manitoba, his melodic skills have finally caught up to his technical abilities.

In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Snaith said that Andorra was made "packed [with] as many musical ideas as possible. As many strong melodies and harmonies. I tried to make every single second maximized as much as possible, cram as many musical ideas as possible." And from the press release: "I’m super-happy with the way the album has turned out. I’ve put seemingly endless hours into it over the last year or so getting everything exactly as I wanted it and have never been this madly excited about my music. I can’t wait for you all to hear it and hope you’ll like it too."

I’m super excited too. It may be too early to say, but I think Andorra is kind of genius (not using the M word… yet) — ten steps ahead of 2005’s Milk of Human Kindness which I thought was kind of disappointing. (I know that is an unpopular opinion.) Here, the cacophony and overt weirdness is reeled just a little. But it’s still a great headphone album. Electronic pings, strings, harps, zips, zoops, and gorgeous melodies, a psychedelic trip through the poppyfields.

Now signed to Merge (a sure sign that it would be good), Caribou release Andorra on August 21 with the wonderful single "Melody Day" preceding it July 10. And I can’t wait to see what amazing visuals will accompany the songs on tour.

MP3: Caribou – Melody Day

MP3: Caribou – Desiree

Buy some older Caribou, won’t you?

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