Suddenly is appropriately named: it’s an album that keeps unexpectedly changing course, often in the middle of a track. Like I Loved You swiftly succumbs to what might be Suddenly’s signature sound: letting the music – in this case an ornate, proggy guitar figure – warp out of time and pitch, as if someone’s pressing their finger down on a record as it plays. It’s disorientating and woozy and it happens again and again: to the sweet, tumbling piano figure that opens Sunny’s Time, to the arpeggiated synths that run through the closing Cloud Song and to the entire chorus of You and I, which shifts the song’s mood from cosseting warmth to uncertainty.
Snaith operates a bit like a magpie himself, finding shiny trinkets from all across the musical landscape — or his record collection — and bringing them together to create a comforting new nest to live inside. And on Suddenly, he unites different strains and different decades of pop and electronic and hip-hop music all for the sole purpose of making you feel. Bangers like “Ravi” and the classic house-leaning “Never Come Back” aside, Suddenly is an insular, inward-focused work, but it might also be his most varied. So yes, two decades into his career, Caribou is still moving — despite everything life has thrown at him, and because of everything life has thrown at him. Life doesn’t sit still, so why should his music?