Tuesday, February 9

Taking A Stand: Hot Chip

. Tuesday, February 9

“I’m sure there are people who think of us like that, people that don’t know what we’re really about.” says Hot Chip’s resident pocket heartbreaker Alexis Taylor. “There are people out there who probably only know one or two of our songs but we’re OK with that because it’s allowed us to be in the position that we are now one our fourth album.”

The fact that to many people Hit Chip occupy a small corner of their musical world rather than a more all encompassing space is clearly something the band have discussed and worked out, it would be naïve not to tackle the fact. Emerging in 2004 with the album ‘Coming On Strong’ Hot Chip began life as a cut and shut Prince, taking the purple one’s soul and pop nous and transferring it to London bedrooms and the most basic recording equipment. From thereon in it soon became clear that Hot Chip had access to veins of pure melody and pop perfection their peers couldn’t get to. This led to two incredible singles over the space of two albums. “There will be people who come to our gigs who maybe only know ‘Over and Over’ or ‘Ready For The Floor’ but hopefully we have enough great songs to entertain them and maybe have them leave with a new favourite song of ours.” hopes Alexis.

Chances are that might just happen. Hot Chip’s new album ‘One Life Stand’ is their most solid to date, concentrating the hooks and melodies and tightening the emotions, it remains playful but concentrated. What might not be clear to listeners though is the influence of childhood running through it. “I recently had a daughter” says Taylor “and I think that has changed the way I write songs a bit. Not massively but I’d like to think I could play her some of the new album and I’m sure I will do one day.”

Whilst not quite ready to start making music for Cebeebies just yet Taylor acknowledges that ‘One Life Stand’ is perhaps the bands poppiest album to date but disputes the claim that Hot Chip are a pop band, “We’re just not I think. To me pop is just manufactured and sort of shallow. I’d like to think we’re a bit more than that. I’m interested in melody and hooks but I don’t think that makes you a pop band by default.” Known for being at the beating heart of music Taylor also dismisses many of today’s pop stars, “I’m not really a fan of a lot of modern pop stuff. I still love Prince and have been listening to a lot of his really rare, unreleased albums that I managed to get a hold of. The only current pop artist I like is Shakira, she’s great. I’d really love to work with her on something.”

Four albums in what is it that motivates Hot Chip to keep working? “Just making music I think. We all love being in this band and being able to create whatever we want and then taking it out and playing it to people.” This innate love of crafting is something that shows throughout Hot Chips discography. Despite their aforementioned mainstream success they have never compromised once in their career and to this date continue to strike an individual path. Taylor agrees that it’s this streak of independence, which forms the spine of what Hot Chip are. “We could have gone on and made an album of ‘Over and Over’s but that’s not who we are- we might have sold a lot of albums but we’d have been lying to ourselves. The new album is exactly what we want to out and represents us completely at this time”. This reluctance to compromise also extends to lucrative sponsorship deals, “We’ve been offered a lot of money to give our songs to beer or deodorant adverts but it’s just never going to happen. I can’t think of anything worse than turning on the TV and not being able to avoid by own voice or to be known as ‘That band from the Carling advert’”

Unique and smart, Hot Chip could live in a world of music elitism and rare vinyl obscurity. It is their unbridled love for songs that melt the heart and ignite the dance floors though which drags them centre stage. They might not be 100% comfortable with it but as long as Hot Chip continue the way they are you suspect they might just become accustomed to it.

Originally on Gigwise.com


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