Image by Thomas Neukum
It’s possible that Caribou may be a sage, or at the very least incredibly astute. There’s something eerie about the aptness of Dan Snaith’s nomenclature with regards to the zeitgeist. The fact that last year’s Suddenly arrived with a lead single called Home and left with a final single called Never Come Back right at the start of the pandemic feels like some ironic foreshadowing of the highest order. With this in mind, it’s impossible not to love Snaith’s latest single. There are two concrete reasons for this. Firstly, the title. You Can Do It is the exact sort of quasi-life-coach reassurance we need at this particular point in year two of the pandemic, and another title so apt to the current moment that it’s hard not to think Snaith may be in on the joke. Secondly, the music video is full of dogs. Dogs running freely on rolling green hills, dogs trotting clumsily with tongues flapping about, small dogs, big dogs, baby dogs. Just dogs. It’s an injection of overly enthusiastic optimism that is a touch blasé yes, but a necessary reminder that we can find the light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel. It’s like the soccer mom who never stops cheering, the colleague who always compliments you despite your clear burnout, the hand that picks you up and helps you back on your feet after the last tequila too many.
Musically, You Can Do It matches the goofy brightness of its packaging. It’s pretty classic Caribou, building itself around a looped vocal sample which turns the phrase “you can do it” into a sort of percussive pattern that’s full of energy and.. ambition? Drive? Self-confidence? Hope? Rapturous Underworld-esque synth progressions twist about in the background before breaking into triumphant chords that give the entire thing a constant feeling of rise. The progressive structure of the track is masterfully heightened by Snaith’s choice to drop the music at You Can Do It’s mid-section, cuing a robot like voice with a single command: “Do it.” From there, he rebuilds the layers with more determination than before until the final act, where layers of voices demanding that you can “do it ” explode over fizzing synths and a cathartic arpeggio. It’s like the chippier, nice-to-a-fault younger brother of Never Come Back, similar in looks but distinct in energy.
Caribou’s music has always had a sort of brightness to it. Even the sombre moments are effervescent and don’t dwell or ruminate for very long. In the milieu of the world as it is today, it’s a sort of spirit that feels necessary. It’s joyous, giddy fun in a time where fun has fallen pretty low on our list of priorities. While it may feel like we’re currently drowning under the weight of everything, You Can Do It is a stupidly delightful thumbs-up that at the very least, will make you smile for a full three minutes and forty-five seconds. Watch the music video below, and download You Can Do It here for an endless supply of motivation. Do it.
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