Caribou

Swim (Merge)

Phases & Stages

Caribou

Swim (Merge)

Dan Snaith's electro-mathematical mind has produced an intricate body of work, from 2003's Up in Flames through 2007's swirlier Andorra. The Canadian's color patterns often change with the tide, and on his latest disc, he's kind of blue, but it makes for an engaging listen. The pulsing weirdness of opener "Odessa" and echoing trance of follow-up "Sun" make entry into Swim easy and warm, and by album centerpiece "Bowls," a heavy, meditative instrumental, you're either hooked or you're not. Snaith's vocals are always complementary, never really the lead instrument. He lets the sounds draw the map, figure out the equation, whether on the jittery "Leave House" or cathartic closer "Jamelia," featuring the soulful vocals of Born Ruffians' Luke Lalonde. His relapses into techno abuse are few here, and even in those clubbier depths, there's a thoughtfulness under it, building on the dreamier visions of Andorra.

***.5

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