Dan Snaith is an electronic musician from Ontario who records as Caribou. "Sun," a persuasive house track from Caribou's 2010 album Swim, serves as a nice showcase for Snaith's touch. There are smoggy organ chords here, and a spare drumbeat, and a welter of electronic effects, and a jagged synth line cutting across the song like lightning. The resulting tune is good to dance to, but it's also got a haunted, paranoid effect.
The beating heart of "Sun" is a human voice repeating one word--the song's title--over and over. It sounds like a woman, and it sounds like a sample, although I wouldn't bet a hundred dollars on either count. Snaith repeatedly buries the voice under layers of sound and then brings it forward again. It's blurry, then sharp; distant, then distinct.
In some odd way, as the minutes pass, this lone voice begins to sound like the voices of different people. I can hear a lost child crying for help, and a horror-movie heroine stunned into aphasia, and a monarch calmly stating and restating a decree. These people are only half-glimpsed--like, yes, the sun behind a cloud--but as the song swells and grows more and more assured, it's hard to shake the feeling that they're there.
On iTunes: Caribou / "Sun"