Continuing my accidental trend of updated 1960s sounds, Caribou’s “Sandy” takes the beginnings of psychedelia and drone rock and matches them to a better beat to create something that crosses genres and decades; a mix of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s that manages to sound like all of them at once, in its own way. There’s a similarity to the Chemical Brothers’ dalliances with psych pop here (especially something like “Let Forever Be,” which may be the most pop thing they ever did), especially with the drum samples, but it’s even more lively and fanciful, especially with the flute and the ephemeral vocal (Especially when it gets to that “I can’t believe what we found” interlude, which sounds as if it’s been lifted entirely from some fop pop from the mid ’60s when frilly shirts and velvet jackets were all the rage). That some power pop band didn’t hear this and immediately beg Daniel Snaith (AKA Caribou) to produce their latest album confounds me. Just imagine what could have been…!
What makes Caribou’s “Melody Day” work is that it disguises itself, sounding like something from the 1960s on first listen – The vocals, the two-note piano, the sleigh bells – while being something with the shape of the 1990s, or more contemporary. It’s like a harder Polyphonic Spree, in a way, or a meaner, sleeker Mercury Rev/Chemical Brothers collaboration; there’s a collision of musical cultures that, by the time you get to 1:09, sounds like a collision in the best ways, with drums and vocals and guitar all spiraling out and fighting for your attention. By the time you get to what sounds like a flute, twittering away in the background (It may be a keyboard…?), I’m completely won over.
Also wonderful, but with a very different feeling: The Four Tet (Yes, him again) remix: