Song of the Day: Caribou – Odessa

photo by Hilary Harris

photo by Hilary Harris

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection is “Odessa” by Caribou from their 2010 album Swim on Merge.

Caribou – Odessa (MP3)

There’s really nothing in the world better than discovering a new piece of music that moves you. Like a lot of the people probably reading this, an amazing song, album or artist is the quickest way to find yourself on the business end of my good side. You can really mess up and I’d still care -– all because you turned me on to Nick Drake and The Velvet Underground. It’s a bit of a get-out-of-jail-free card with me (it’s a sliding scale though so watch it). I mean, really, friends are easy to come by, but friends with excellent taste? Those are keepers!

A few months ago, I posted my top 10 albums of 2009. Despite my own excellent taste most of these records were brought to me by my tight bro/music provider KEXP SEATTLE –- you know him –- he lives over at 90.3 on the FM dial? Best taste ever and really never lets you down. He is of the firm belief that “the music matters.” Dude, he hooks it up proper! Well, with any good friendship there comes a time to give back –- my friends and fellow KEXP fans, that time is upon us in the form of the Spring Membership Drive. You see, KEXP cannot continue to shower our ears with new music without the proper funding. That funding comes from you and I. In short, I am asking you -– on behalf of the collective talent and stellar taste of KEXP to please MAKE IT RAIN LIKE YOU’VE NEVER MADE IT RAIN BEFORE. Now through March 15th your donation (of any amount) to KEXP will power the station in the months to come and guarantee an abundance of lovely sounds inside your ear-holes.

Perhaps today’s Song of the Day podcast, Caribou’s “Odessa,” from the forthcoming Merge Records release Swim (out 4/20), will instantly transform itself into your soon-to-be favorite artist/album/song of 2010. Stranger things have been known to happen. Caribou is the post-Manitoba project of Canadian born mathematician Dan Snaith. As one might expect Snaith’s music lends itself nicely to descriptors like “dance” and “electronica,” but these genre-specific terms are really just the beginning. On Swim, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2007’s Andorra, Snaith supplements his talent for beat-making and catchy structures with those of a variety of guests, including a Toronto-based free form jazz horn quartet. About the new record, Snaith has said that he imagined musical components as liquid, flowing freely between seemingly mismatched melodies, pitches and timbres. The end result is a freshly contagious psychedelic noise maelstrom that swirls back and forth in the space between your ears. “Odessa” seems to separate itself from the pop-triumphs of Andorra, opting instead to exploit the electronic wizardry of Snaith’s earlier work. The house-y rhythm, warm vocal track and infectious bass line envelopes the listener like a warm bath.

Snaith almost always plays with a live band (often behind one of the two drum kits), accompanied by intricately trippy video projections that add yet another layer to the Caribou experience. Sound fun? Well, an $84/month donation to KEXP gets you a three-day pass to this year’s Sasquatch Festival… and… Caribou plays Sunday!! Find out other dates on their website and check the brand new video for “Odessa” here:

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