I think the main appeal with Swim – Caribou’s magnificent 2010 album – was how Dan Snaith created electronic pop music that wasn’t constructed and arranged like electronic pop in any traditional sense. Undoubtedly, this had a lot to do with him spending the prior decade crafting albums that jumped from a wide set of styles and genres, often with a psych- prefix attached. In this respect, “Can’t Do Without You” – Snaith’s first release under the Caribou alias in four years – is possibly the first time he approaches a new song without any major alterations in sound or direction. Not a big surprise considering the success and impact of Swim – still, I’m not saying that “Can’t Do Without You” could’ve been lifted right of that album. The atmosphere here is warmer and less intimate, and if Swim was borne out of the desire to create “dance music that sounds like it’s made out of water”, then “Can’t Do Without You” is the sound of music splashing against rocks inside a cave.
With news that Caribou’s sixth album Our Love will feature Owen Pallett and Jessy Lanza amongst its collaborators surely means the finished album will sound more multicolored and kaleidoscopic, or as the bio depicts the new album as Caribou’s “most soulful record to date, chock-full of heartfelt lyrics and organic nature which cuts through bubbling synths and blissful euphoria of their synthetic construction”. We have to wait until October to hear the final result, but in the meantime, “Can’t Do Without You” is no doubt a wisely chosen first single that serves a not-so-subtle reminder of everything that made Swim one of 2010’s true highlights.
Our Love is out October 6 in UK/EU and October 7 in US/Canada via Merge and October 3 in Germany via City Slang.