Merge Records Signs Caribou & Shout Out Louds, Calton Fisk Deemed “Too Old”

This is the story of two "indie" bands that have had very little in common in the past. Caribou started life as Manitoba, Canadian Dan Snaith's moniker under which he released dreamy tunes for four years, until receiving a cease-and-desist letter from a punk footnote and changing his moniker to Caribou for 2004's Milk of Human Kindness (Domino). It's good for him that animals know little of the legal system.

Meanwhile, on a different continent, Sweden's Shout Out Louds formed in 2001, with the unspoken (but known to me) goal of making all your indie-pop dreams come true. They had previously put out a few singles, an EP, and an LP, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, when the American (music industry) Dream, a Major Label contract, was delivered to them by Capitol Records. The label released an updated version of Howl, which came out in the Fall of 2003 and in the band's homeland in 2005, augmented with a few tracks from the SOL's singles and EP. What followed was a year-and-a-half of touring and promoting the record, culminating in the band being dropped by Capitol who instead, allegedly, preferred to use the money earmarked for the Shouts on more National Geographic photos for Interpol record art.

Now it's 2007, and one critically lauded Canuck and one group of under-appreciated Swedes have something in common; a new home. Merge Records has announced that it has signed Caribou and Shout Out Louds, and new albums from both will appear in late summer.

Caribou comes first on the new release schedule, giving unto the world Andora on August 21. The nine-song record, which Snaith has been working on for the better part of a year, is said to have more of a full-band feel to it, but without all the full-band hassle. Yup, it is still just Dan the man making all the racket, although the Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan appears on the track "She's the One," which he also co-wrote with Snaith. In advance of the LP, look for a CDEP of "Melody Day" on July 10.

The Shout Out Loud's latest, Our Ill Wills, which came out Wednesday in Sweden, will emerge on U.S. shelves September 11. The 12-track LP was recorded last fall with fellow countryman Bjorn Yttling (of Peter Bjorn & John) behind the board. The band will also be issuing a CDEP before the album comes out. The EP will contain the album's first single, "Tonight I Had To Leave It" with other, as-yet unannounced tracks. Information on things like tracklists for the CDEPs (or are they CD5s?) and fall North American tourdates for both groups are said to be forthcoming, so make sure to check TMT and click on all the ads everyday, and the info will undoubtedly appear at light speed.

Andorra tracklist:

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