No Way Out – Caribou “Can’t Do Without You”

Will Schube slap chops venison Every couple of years, Dan Snaith re-emerges as Caribou, just to remind us that he’s a Lebowski-level capital D Dude. The Milk of Human Kindness came out in...
By    June 5, 2014

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Every couple of years, Dan Snaith re-emerges as Caribou, just to remind us that he’s a Lebowski-level capital D Dude. The Milk of Human Kindness came out in ’05, and was the kind of “oh shit” release that left you dying for new tunes as soon as you wore out the old ones. He topped Milk with Andorra, an album that blends electronic/acoustic sensibilities in a way very, very few have mastered. It’s lush, aggressive, biting—the kind of stuff I could (and do) live off of.

Lest we became too comfortable with a consistent image of Caribou, Snaith nixed the acoustic sensibilities and gave us Swim in 2010, Andorra’s equal in quality, its counterpart in sound. Swim is built on repetition, the warm swell of layered electronics. Snaith’s delicate, high-pitched voice gives the album a gentle demeanor, but the record has enough bite to prove versatile in multiple settings; a style that once again finds itself emerging. Four years later, Snaith is back, this time with “Can’t Do Without You”, the first single from a new album coming this summer.

“Can’t Do Without You” is sort of the perfect summation of new Caribou—the repetitive vocal sample is backed by electronic stabs, a steady, minimal electronic drum groove, and Snaith’s delicate voice subtly declaring in the background, “I can’t do without you.” The track progresses slowly, unwilling to overwhelm. The track rises in attack almost mathematically, as parts are added slowly and delicately. Distorted synths join the fray, grinding against the track’s light-hearted nature, giving the track a second persona. The synths rev up like a 12-cylinder engine, pushing the track towards the dancefloor, as the drums begin to shuffle and the vocal sample collides, and eventually eliminates, Snaith’s voice. The track dissipates, seemingly out of nowhere, and all that’s left is Snaith’s delicate voice, once again cooing, “I can’t do without you.”



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