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Yeah, we write about D.C.’s The Caribbean a whole bunch. The trio’s new album, Discontinued Perfume, is one of the strongest records I’ve heard this year, but you know that already, and I’ve definitely said my piece. But the band and its label keep giving us reasons to write about them, so make sure you do the following before seeing The Caribbean at U Street Music Hall tonight.
1. Download two new remixes: Below, new interpretations of Discontinued Perfume tracks “Mr. Let’s Find Out” and “Outskirts.” The former, remixed by Richard Ingram, is a gauzy, soundscapey meltdown of the original; the latter, by Aquarelle, basically gives The Caribbean the Fennesz treatment, burying it in beautiful, glacial clang.
Listen: The Caribbean – “Mr. Let’s Find Out” (Richard Ingram remix)[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/files/2011/04/Mr-Lets-Find-Out-Richard-Ingram-Re.mp3]
Listen: The Caribbean – “Outskirts” (Aquarelle remix)[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/files/2011/04/TheCaribbean-Outskirts-AquarelleRemi.mp3]
2. Read this new profile: WaPo‘s David Malitz chats with the band, drilling into the duality of being a grownup indie rocker and the album’s legion complexities. Pull quote!
General tags such as indie rock or guitar pop may be accurate enough to describe the Caribbean, but it’s rarely quite so simple. The band’s songs aren’t written so much as crafted, with every sound and word meticulously considered. They are meditative, and sometimes contradictory. Even a comparatively straightforward tune such as “Thank You for Talking to Me About Israel,” which rides along on snapping drums and fuzzy guitar, is built on a titular conceit and lyrics that are the polar opposite of an instant singalong.
“If you make something personal, almost by definition, just as it takes time to get to know somebody, it’s going to require a certain amount of effort to bond with it,” [frontman Michael] Kentoff says. “You remember when a record would come out and you would get it, and it was like having a crush or being in love? You would be glowing for weeks. You couldn’t wait to get home and put that record on. It really was a relationship. That’s the ideal. You just make something that you feel close to and believe in.”
And then see the band perform tonight with Mariage Blanc and More Humans at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall. $5.
Photo by Dakota Fine.