Caribou

WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

2001, Start Breaking My Heart (Leaf)2005, Up in Flames (Domino)

Caribou, formerly Manitoba, ne Dan Snaith, has gone through about as many monikers as he has styles of music. The Canadian-born, London-based producer has hop-scotched through pastoral IDM (or "bucolica") to '70s psych-pop and now, on his third and most mature album, The Milk of Human Kindness, a mix of both, and then some. "Bees" plays like a Sea Change-era Beck meets Chad and Jeremy, while the single, "Yeti," is a zingy chamber-pop-Hari Krishna mash-up. Kindness is a lovely record, deftly combining the organic with the electronic, brilliant vocal harmonies and complex arrangements showing influences as disparate as Lightening Bolt, the Animal Collective, and the Beach Boys.

Snaith was forced to change his stage name from Manitoba to Caribou when former Dictators frontman Handsome Dick Manitoba threatened to sue over trademark infringement. (We hope the Arctic creature doesn't get any wild ideas-they can weigh up to 600 pounds!) Snaith and his band mates (armed with laptop, guitar, keyboards, and glockenspiel) have toured with the likes of Stereolab, Prefuse 73, Broadcast and Four Tet-while wearing bear masks. Snaith also holds a PhD in mathematics, which would probably make him the coolest math prof to ever set off a dancefloor.

The Milk of Human Kindness is out April 19th.

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