Those anticipating the typical eccentric wails and twisting, warped sound effect-based melodies Chairlift fans have become accustomed to might find this latest release somewhat strange. Instead of being a collection of angelic, but saddening harmonies and deadly indie beats, this is fist-pumping, synth-fuelled magic, almost taking the ’80s from a disco decade of electronic haven to new levels of blazing grooves and vibes.
My chief criticism is that, in the rich textures of the oozing upbeat belters from the Colorado outfit, their more subtle, wistful numbers are almost tossed away and lost in translation. The only slower offering that doesn’t exude easy-skipping tendencies is Crying in Public. This is about as cute as any tiny indie song could get, with each line a sweet comment to justify tenderness shown in the public sphere. As gentle as this is, it’s really sharp and certainly warrants a few repeat plays.
The main singles manage to stand out still as two of the heftiest pieces. Romeo has an element of fun that’s copied, pasted and unapologetically projected throughout the boldest songs on the album. Its underlying quaintness adheres more to what we’re used to from Caroline Polachek and co., but the synth-bashing makes it even more enjoyable. Ch-Ching is similar, and still a favourite of mine. This piece in particular is bossy and commanding, and the beat is just tantalising and wholly classy.
Ottawa to Osaka and Unfinished Business are both more experimental in nature, with a really traditional Polachek vocal stamp marked blatantly during the chorus. The second batch of utter electronica bliss comes in the forms of Moth to the Flame, a zany, vibrant track brimming with solid club electricity and magnetism, and Show U Off. This latter number is gloriously addictive, with a sugary tang to it, and echoed vocals are in ideal tandem to the strong keyboard trickery. So, in sum, this might not be the usual tearjerker-esque ten-tracker that Chairlift have previously churned out and produced so well, but this is, in general, uplifting and, thus, cooler.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Moth to the Flame’