Chairlift is one of those bands that you’ve probably heard a bunch of times before but you could never name if you were asked to. They’ve been around the block since 2005 and done almost everything. They’ve made music for haunted houses, were featured on an iPod Nano commercial in 2008, and got a VMA nominee in 2009 for the outstanding video to their single “Evident Utensil” (watch it below). Lead singer Caroline Polachek has been featured on tracks by Washed Out, Holy Ghost!, and Das Racist, and Chairlift’s other half, Patrick Wimberly, produced Das Racist’s 2011 LP Relax. So you’re probably asking yourself, where have they been this whole time?
The band has gone through some turbulence in the last two years. Despite being signed to Columbia Records in late 2009, founding band member Aaron Pfenning left the group in 2010 to pursue other interests. Thus, the band has gone guitar-less and entered more electronic territory for their new record Something. Polachek’s lyrics are just as eclectic and dictionary-worthy as those on Does You Inspire You, but they pack a heavier punch and feel quite a bit more personable. After all, the album opens with “All the bones in your body are in too few pieces for me” over the catchiest little synth beat. Tracks like “Sidewalk Safari” and “Amanaemonesia” are pissed off in the happiest possible way. Chairlift’s signature sound has reached new bounds here, matching the avant-garde melody lines of groups like Fiery Furnaces with the unpredictable key and time changes of Columbia label-mates MGMT.
Where Does You Inspire You became overwhelming after a couple consecutive listens, Something flows really well, and I could listen to it all day. Songs like “Take It Out On Me”, “Ghost Tonight”, and “Met Before” prove that Chairlift is becoming a bit more vulnerable. They are alright with letting a broader audience into their world, and they aren’t afraid of letting the perfectly quaint pop music they are known for get a little bit poppier. Chairlift will be at Crocodile on April 7th with Nite Jewel. If you should choose to go (which you should), don’t be afraid to dance. Here are the videos for the Something single, “Amanaemonesia”, as well as their 2009 VMA nominated video for “Evident Utensil”: