Music to be heard: local band Adieu Caribou

Members of Adieu Caribou: Jon Garcia, Matthew Mischke, Jeremiah Mulder, Lydia Graber and Andy Alvarez.

Samantha Lopez Arts & Entertainment Contributor

With so many active college bands, it takes notable characteristics to really stand out. Adieu Caribou is a mix of lo-fi pop, folk and indie rock that reflects the indie music scene of the Pacific Northwest.

Over the span of nearly five years and three different Oregon cities, Adieu Caribou has undergone fifteen different ensembles of musicians, with its only consistent member being Andy Alvarez. This revolving door of musicians allows for the sound of Adieu Caribou to constantly change.

Now consisting of six members, this group has only been playing together for three months. This particular lineup has explored many styles and are ready to establish themselves as more than a group of friends who like to get together to jam.

“We’re not really bedroom pop, I don’t think we use enough reverb or delay. I think we’re more basement rock—is that a thing? If it’s not, I’m coining it now” said Andy Alvarez lead singer and creator of the band.

Adieu Caribou presently consists of Alvarez on vocals and guitar, Chris McFetridge on lead guitar, Lydia Graber on keyboard and ukulele, Jeremiah Mulder on Bass, Matthew Mischke on trumpet and Jon Garcia on drums.

“This project has gone through a lot of names. Originally it was Making Out, then Seafare and then I Do Care About You, but I didn’t want a really long name so we shortened it to Adieu Caribou. It’s a play on words and it rhymes,” Alvarez said.

Whether it was playing a certain record on repeat, or trying to swoon a girl, those were the distinct moments that the band decided to create their own style.

“The first time it clicked in my head I wanted to make music was when I was a really young boy living in Los Angeles,” said drummer Jon Garcia, “My family shared a church with this Gospel church and I would see this man on drums every Sunday, just pounding away, going insane, and I wasn’t allowed near the drums, of course, because I was a child, but I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to do that one day!”

Adieu Caribou is able to balance the elements of many different genres and create something that is both energetic in tempo and melancholic in harmony. By using rhythm guitar, mid-tempo drums and bass, they create a plush and soft-sounding back-to-basic rock sound.

The process of making a song begins with Alvarez experimenting with chords on the piano as he composes lyrics. From there, Alvarez takes the raw draft of the song and shares it with the rest of the group so that each person can contribute their own part to create a final product.

“It takes time and countless versions of the same thing. The goal is to tone it down to a level where it just makes sense,” Graber said.

Their songs are new soft-rock and demonstrate the band’s compatibility with indie tropes, complete with introspective lyrics.

Adieu Caribou’s strength is shown by their songs “Fell in Love Again” off of their 2014 album, “I Do Care About You” and their latest release, “Collecting Nothing Part 1 & 2” off of the 2015 album, “Hollow Joy”.

The band shares similarities to bands like Phoenix, Coconut Records, the baroque trumpet sound of Beirut and Rilo Kiley with their folk shimmer and explosively pop moments.

Adieu Caribou has created a consistent fan-base in their time together, played numerous shows around Oregon and have recently been invited to play at OSU’s 2016 Battle of the Bands competition.

Their plan for the future is to participate at large musical festivals that bring together established and emerging artists from all over the world.

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