Caribou / Manitoba

Start Breaking My Heart

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It's closer to Elliot Smith than Coldcut, and about as stable as a bull in a china shop full of unlistened to copies of Kid A, but this is the sort of production that niftily stands for modern solo meloncholists with more to offer than a co-option of Warp back catalogs and egregious MOR. Responsibility for it goes to Toronto's Dan Snaith, a 20-something musician whose work is both technical enough for scholastic jazz ears and organic enough for acoustic traditionalists. Beats spring about but don't go all clickety spangly. Homespun tunes swoon and sway but never whine. The work here is so good that you no longer have to eternally connect the words "classically trained" with pompous incompetence.

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