It’s been a good year for experimental, left-field indie-pop. We’ve had Menomena, Panda Bear, Deerhunter and now Caribou. Having released a handful of records to critical acclaim, Andorra sees the one-man band Caribou raise the bar further. This isn’t the place to come if you want social commentary, this is the place to come for pure and unadulterated escapism.
Bursting to life as soon as you press play, Melody Day sets the scene immediately. Those Beach Boys vocals, slightly musky production and bouncing melodies are all driven into your head with a whole host of jangling guitars, whistles and flutes. After Hours sounds like the Beatles if they’d spent time in California smoking copious amounts of weed. The backtracking rhythms, crackling drums and harmonic hums make it sound like something recorded 40 years ago and yet futuristic at the same time. In fact the whole album is this odd blend of the future, present and past. Seemingly independent musical threads are woven into a carpet of aural pleasure. She’s The One, meanwhile, is the offspring of TV On The Radio and Super Furry Animals. The high pitched vocals flowing over chugging bass and guitars revealing a song with pure pop sensibilities. The "dur dur durs" counteracting the repetitive chorus of "She’s the one", bringing to mind The Beta Band at their most chart worthy.
As you might have guessed by now, I’m rather taken with this album. It came like a bolt from the blue having never really embraced their back catalog. The ability to snatch choice influences from across the musical spectrum and make them their own is the real skill about Andorra. The New Order aping bassline and synths of Niobe is a perfect an album closer as you’re ever likely to get. In fact, this one track has made me fall in love with electronic pop music all over again. It may be eight minutes long, but it’s undulating rhythm, echoing synthesiser and bubbling beats make me play it again straight after it’s finished. This is a remarkable album that may not see the same press adulation as the acts mentioned at the start of this piece, but only because it deserves more.