A year and a few months since the band’s last release, local favorite Adieu Caribou has come out with its third full-length album, What Was, What Is, What Could Have Been. As a story, it stays true to its name. Frontman Andy Alvarez vocalizes the journey of lost love and years past over the album’s 59 minutes and 12 indie rock tracks.
The OSU community might recognize Adieu Caribou as the winner of the 2016 Battle of the Bands and Dam Jam opener, while locals may have seen the group play up and down the Willamette Valley section of I-5 as that’s what the group’s six members call home.
Recorded throughout 2016, What Was, What Is, What Could Have Been opens with a statement that’s almost guaranteed to have crossed the mind of most listeners. Being noticed only upon one’s death is hardly difficult to imagine, and you’d be lying if you said you never thought of it. But bringing easily relatable ideas to the table is something of a forte for Adieu Caribou.
When it comes to love, the band’s lyrics and stories are particularly accessible and honest. This full length explores that one-sided love that ended too soon; that familiar story of two people aging and moving at different paces, yet still in the same orbit, one of them stifling feelings that never got a chance to fully bloom.
But you wouldn’t guess the heartbreak in the lyrics by just listening to the music and instrumentation, which is largely upbeat and energized. Its riffs are lo-fi and scrappy, with no need for excessive production, as Adieu Caribou’s raw sound captures all necessary emotion. Every couple of tracks, the trumpet sobers the sound, bringing both the listener and the rest of the instrumentation back to the reality that this album is nostalgic at its core.
Luckily, Adieu Caribou as a group shows no signs of slowing down. The group is performing at Interzone on Monday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. with a $5 cover.
By Gina Pierraci