With the release of his first new album in five years as Caribou, Dan Snaith speaks to Arusa Qureshi about the emotional and political core of his new music

When life throws you curveballs, art can be a real comfort, providing moments of escapism amid any collective disarray. As we face unprecedented times, socially and politically, it’s artists and musicians in their critical responses to adversity that can offer us snippets of joy and solace.

In his musical output as Caribou, Dan Snaith in many ways has done exactly that; creating dance music that is magnetic, intimate and full of warmth and colour. While 2014’s Our Love was a candid and personal exploration of love in all its forms, Snaith’s latest release Suddenly delves further into this concept, the album itself referencing how unexpected change and tragedy can throw everything off course. ‘Our Love was a very outward-facing record,’ Snaith explains. ‘It was kind of a big thank you to people for the unexpected ways that [previous album] Swim had resonated after I made it. The only impulse that I had at the beginning of this one was to make it more eccentric, to indulge in all those things that I love about music that are very particular and unusual and surprising.’

When asked about the five year gap between Our Love and Suddenly, Snaith discloses that it wasn’t just a change in musical direction but personal context that influenced the whole outlook of the record.

‘I always want to preface this by saying that the last five years have broadly been happy times. But there’ve been a series of extremely difficult things that have happened and this is what the title refers to; these moments that happened unexpectedly, that shaped this time in my life in a way that I didn’t anticipate.’ As well as a significant death and divorce in the family, his father also faced a major health crisis, which led Snaith to the realisation that he

80 THE LIST 1 Apr–31 May 2020