Electronic music generally feels more machine-like than the product of conventional guitars-and-drums setups, but that doesn't mean every electronic artist is inclined to create work that's cold or inhuman. Dan Snaith exemplifies this idea in Caribou.
In his project (formerly known as Manitoba), Snaith creates and chooses particularly fluid synths and effects, leaves a healthy amount of space in his songs so sounds have room to stretch, and sings with a voice that's water-drop-soft. Caribou's compositions feel so crafted by human hands that they could never be mistaken for the output of robots.
Originally based out of the small Canadian town of Dundas, Ontario, and then a resident of London, U.K., Snaith has been plugging away at music for over a decade, but he experienced a particularly positive surge of feedback following 2010's Swim
Much attention has fallen on the subdued-corner-of-the-packed-nightclub pleasures of “Odessa,” but “Found Out” is also worth hunting down. The song is dominated by warm, melancholic smears of synth (or, in other words, the intergalactic transmissions of the most tender alien race you'll ever meet), but these hues are juxtaposed with rougher beats that sound like a hammer repeatedly meeting scaffolding. The result intrigues with its mixed-message sensibility. Swim's nine-song-long tracklist is fascinating in its own way, too, as Snaith originally recorded bits and pieces for 600-plus tracks — a revelation that makes a fine little testament to both his industriousness and editing abilities.
CARIBOU performs Tuesday, June 5 with Radiohead at the Riverbend Music Center. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.