Caribou with special guest Jessy Lanza
About a year ago, Caribou mastermind Dan Snaith couldn't swim. On a good day, he might get a decent doggy paddle going but, really, he could barely stay afloat. All that changed when his wife got him swimming lessons for Christmas. "Then I became completely obsessed with it and now I swim constantly," he says. "The only times I really left the house in the past year were either to go out to a club late at night or, in the middle of making music during the day, I'd go to swim every day. It was important to get some distance, and ideas would percolate around in my head as I was swimming away. So it seemed like a theme that was appropriate."
With its absorption of club culture sounds weaved within subtle pop frameworks, Swim is Caribou's masterpiece-the record he's wanted to bring to fruition for as long as he's been making music. A Canadian from small-town Ontario now based in England, Snaith has been a leading figure in electronic music over the past decade. A mathematics scholar and an ingenious multi-instrumentalist/composer, he surprised critics and fans with 2007's Andorra, a brilliant, electro-tinged pop breakthrough with a timeless grace that made most year-end "Best of" lists and won Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize. After the startling infectiousness of Andorra, Swim is a more complex, multi-layered affair-ripe with fascinating rhythms, instrumentation, and vocals (including those of Born Ruffians' Luke Lalonde, who appears on "Jamelia")-that becomes more alluring with each listen. And it's got Caribou floating.