Pick a Piper
Though kept busy handling percussive duties in the live incarnation of Caribou, Toronto’s Brad Weber has found time in recent years to work on his side project, Pick a Piper, a collaboration with friends Clint Scrivener, Angus Fraser, Dan Roberts, and others, which Weber oversees by handling the production and much of the songwriting. Between 2009 and 2010, they released two digital-only EPs, both of which filled out dance-music structures with decidedly non-dance-music instrumentation—glockenspiel, acoustic guitar, and flute, to name a few—to form what they aptly term “organic dance music.”
In the years since Pick a Piper’s initial output, Weber has taken to flexing his production muscles, swapping out the acoustic palette that characterized earlier output in favor of found-sound samples, synths, electronic percussion, and deftly sequenced helpings of reverb and delay. But even with this new focus on electronics, their aesthetic remains grounded in the natural world, with airy, polyrhythmic percussion, atmospheric sound design, and loopy melodies acting as the foundations of their self-titled debut album. Toss in a smattering of guest vocalists (members of the Ruby Suns, Enon/Brainiac, Born Ruffians, and Braids), and Pick a Piper becomes a project whose stylistic versatility and distinct palette create a pleasantly varied but cohesive whole.