The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

REVIEW: Chairlift – ‘Moth’ (Columbia)

Front cover of 'Moth'

Front cover of ‘Moth’

by John Tindale

After fading into obscurity, Chairlift are back, following up from hit-and-miss 2012 album Something, they took their time about releasing follow-up record Moth. One can’t help but feel sorry for the Brooklyn duo, with incredible songs like ‘Bruises’ being drowned out by the Mumford-induced folk epidemic and then mistiming their wonderful blend of ‘80s revivalism long before it began to gain success on both sides of the Atlantic, with CHVRCHES and Haim taking glory that they should rightfully have shared in. They may have a lot to be bitter about, but if you were to listen to Moth, you would have no idea.

The album begins on a high as ‘Look Up’ combines excellent, fluid production reminiscent of Arca with a defiant vocal and a brass backing. The amount of ideas going on may present an almost claustrophobic sensation, but it is a credit to the pop sensibilities of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberley that this mixture is able to be a success. Lead single ‘Romeo’ continues to emphasise everything that’s great about Chairlift, as an excellent alt-pop chorus before closing with a series of dark electronics and guitars. Meanwhile ‘Ch-Ching’, ‘Moth To Flame’ and ‘Polymorphing’ show Haim-styled vocals with Grimes-esque electronics to dazzling effects – with the latter developing into a Joanna Newsom-does-funk styling.

Chairlift are at their best when making music you can dance to and this is never more apparent than on the comparative low, when they slow things down on ‘Crying In Public’, a soppy ballad which has no right to be on the album. However, even this latent tendency could be counterbalanced by the palpable hit ‘Unfinished Business’, which uses its sparseness in a pleasurable manner. The album then closes as it began during ‘No Such Thing As Illusion’ as the excellent production and percussion work drive the album to a remarkable ending. After many years of being the ‘nearly band’, Chairlift have finally released a complete album worthy of every fan’s attention with their most complete album which emphasises everything good about them. It’s just a shame the audience may no longer be there again. (8/10)

Listen to Moth here, and tell us what you think below!

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