Disillusioned, but resolute, Snaith took the blows in his stride. After four years of making music part-time, touring on college breaks while completing his PhD in Mathematics, his studies were coming to an end. From looking forward to concentrating full-time on music, he was suddenly back at square one, having to re-write his artistic history and start afresh. Working on his third album, the stakes suddenly seemed a lot higher. The music mattered more than ever.
To this point Snaith has already built a legacy of near universal critical adulation and amassed an ever-growing legion of fans worldwide. Each of the three Manitoba/Caribou albums is highly distinctive. Start Breaking My Heart (2001) rivaled the likes of Boards of Canada for exquisite melodies and a yearning sense of nostalgia, while the critical and commercial leap forward of Up In Flames (2003) was like being unleashed in an unparalleled, magical fairyland of riotous, ecstatic sound. The band toured the world for a year (in bear masks) to captivated audiences, performing with peers and heroes like Stereolab, Prefuse 73, Four Tet and Broadcast. The live touring trio for Up In Flames involved two drummers, alongside the blinding day-glo shimmer of electronics, guitar, glockenspiel and keyboards. It was all about expressing a bright, heavy and happy cacophony.