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Suddenly is the seventh album from acclaimed producer Dan Snaith aka Caribou. It is the first new Caribou music since 2014’s widely-lauded Our Love. Suddenly is perhaps the least predictable Caribou album, swerving and veering through new avenues of amazing hooks and samples on an album inspired by family and the closeness of relationships, all the while retaining the unmistakable characteristic warmth that is Caribou. Suddenly is packaged in a high gloss sleeve with printed inner sleeves.
Released: February 2020 Cat: SLANG50247 Label: City Slang
1. Sister 2. You and I 3. Sunny's Time 4. New Jade 5. Home 6. Lime 7. Never Come Back 8. Filtered Grand Piano 9. Like I Loved You 10. Magpie 11. Ravi 12. Cloud Song
Suddenly is an emotive return from veteran producer Dan Snaith
Suddenly is an emotive return from veteran producer Dan Snaith. It’s been 5 years since the last outing under his Caribou moniker, and Suddenly is a charming collection of electro tracks that manages to balance lightness of touch with the emotional heft necessary for a breakup album. Snaith’s vocals have a naivety to them, a reassuring constant in a complex album. Interesting that he chose to lead with it, too; opener ‘Sister’ is just a mournful vocal and an arpeggiated synth loop, it could easily be a cut off a Thom Yorke album. But this is distinctly a Caribou album. The warm soul samples that are his stock-in-trade feature on lead single ‘Home’. He’s mastered the art of the earworm sample, and deploying it so sparingly shows his restraint. ‘Never Come Back’ is the closest we ever wander to the club- Snaith might not work in a pop realm per se, but he has an obvious reverence for pop’s hallmarks. This is one of the real strengths of Suddenly, the sheer variety on show across these 40-odd minutes.
Snaith’s fascination with modulation is front and centre, with detuning featuring throughout the tracklist, giving the album a disconcerting, unbalanced feel. Tracks never land quite how you’d expect. This is a beautiful metaphor for the trauma that colouring the lyrics throughout, the sensation of separation, of regret. It’s very telling that the final track returns to both of these interwoven ideas, with Snaith’s aching reminder that he’s “broken, so tired of crying / Can’t seem to find my way back to you”. Suddenly never quite confronts the tension at its core, but it doesn’t need to- it’s all in the instrumentation. The final sound we hear is detuned until it’s inaudible- there’s no resolution here, but of course, that’s the point.