Monday 23 January 2012

Chairlift - Something

Synth-pop.  Chillwave.  Dream-pop.  Whatever you want to call the current vogue for 80s derived electronic pop and its myriad of subgenres, it's certainly become an overcrowded genre.  This style of production has permeated countless artists both indie and mainstream, M83 arguably leading the pack with the outstanding single Midnight City, followed by efforts from the likes of Niki & The Dove, New Look, When Saints Go Machine and Summer Camp amongst many others .

Can Chairlift stand out from the crowd?  In short, yes.

'Something' is the follow up to 2009 album 'Does You Inspire You' from the Brooklyn-based duo - Caroline Polachek on vocals and Patrick Wimberley on production.  It's an album filled with catchy, electrifying synth-pop.

It begins with Sidewalk Safari (previously reviewed), a driving, frenetic track that crashes into your ears immediately.  From there, 'Something' is a gradual decrescendo towards closer Guilty As ChargedThe first half jumps from hook to hook: the powerful guitar of Wrong Opinion; the playful, Fleetwood Mac-esque melody of I Belong In Your Arms; the swung rhythm of Ghost Tonight; and the infectious chorus of AmanaemonesiaLater, the album takes a more chilled tone, the tracks taking on an ambient, dreamy feel.  The result is a more confident album than their previous work, tightly focused in style yet enough variety to keep the listener entertained throughout.  The production constantly surprises with its mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, whilst Polachek's dreamy vocal hovers incandescently above.  The balance perhaps takes a too sudden shift in the latter half and lacks the immediacy of the earlier tracks.  But Chairlift can be forgiven owing to a large handful of album highlights.

There may be strong competition, but Chairlift stand out from the crowd with their energetic pop.  However you choose to classify it, 'Something' is the first great synth-pop album of 2012.


Gizzle's Choice:
* Sidewalk Safari
* I Belong In Your Arms
* Ghost Tonight

Listen: 'Something' is available now.

Watch: Chairlift are currently on tour, playing London on 6th March.