Boomkat Product Review:
Following on from 2008's Polaris Prize-winning Andorra, Dan Snaith returns with a fresh take on the Caribou sound, working more dance-friendly structures into his work, which makes for quite a revelation given the project's tendencies towards jazz and frayed-edge psychedelia. Snaith outlined his approach to the new record by stating: "I got excited by the idea of making dance music that's liquid in the way it flows back and forth, the sounds slosh around in pitch, timbre, pan... Dance music that sounds like it's made out of water rather than made out of metallic stuff like most dance music does". In keeping with this blueprint 'Odessa' opens the album with an inspired sway towards freakishly organic club music, capped off by a vocal that brings to mind Erland Oye's deadpan intonations. Not unlike Four Tet's There Is Love In You, this record soon reveals itself as a patchwork of samples and flowing, house-inspired electronics, reaching peaks such as 'Sun' and the jangling, harp-laden 'Bowls' with a gritty physicality that never detracts from Swim's efficient 4/4 faculties. At every turn Snaith seems to be able to pull something special out of the bag: deep into the album's second half he conjures the wonderful 'Leave House', featuring expertly crafted discoid beats and well-placed falsetto choruses - not to mention a surprise breakdown that reveals a jazzy woodwind and horn sequence. Final track 'Jamelia' completes a beguiling and often highly original album with a four minute pop song that combines detuned synths, modernist string interjections and manic, oversaturated beats with the singer from Born Ruffians. It's a heady, discombobulating formula, but as with the rest of Swim it all seems to alchemically come together under the banner of great pop music. Highly recommended.