Britian’s electronic group Hot Chip has gone through a number of transitions since their inception in 2000.
Their early work fell someplace between Morrisey and a Prince cover band, with smooth, somber R&B tracks more often than solid dance tracks.
2008′s Made in the Dark opened up their range a bit to a more danceable sound, with singles “Shake a fist” and the Batman themed “Ready for a floor” topping charts. The band had some cross-the-pond success, and even a number of festival dates.
They still sell out DC shows when the come to town, and for good reason – Hot Chip live is an amazing sight to behold.
The 4+ members on stage, one with a guitar, 2 with hand-held boxes with as many knobs as effects available, and the rest moving between synths and microphones – it’s both high energy and engaging. “What the hell are those dudes even doing,” was a phrase easily heard when I caught them a few years back.
Fast forward through 2010′s The Warning, another significantly more danceable album with songs like “One Life Stand,” and the stage was set for Hot Chip to continue to dominate my play list for some time.
Then the band kind of fell off my radar.
Turns out they released In Our Heads in 2012. Singles included a track and spaced-themed video with UK funny man Reggie Watts on “Night and Day” – As I listen to the track now, I remember hearing it and wondering why I didn’t follow up more – Metacritic put the album at a solid 79/100, with Pitchfork Media‘s Larry Fitzmaurice calling the album one of the band’s ”most playful and colorful record yet, an album-length manifestation of that ‘sounds of the studio’ game that cut straight through the middle of ‘Shake a Fist‘.”
And that takes us to this new track – “Need You Now,” and the just announced album Why Make Sense?. Obviously returning to some series mid-90′s club roots, this jam doesn’t shy away from some of the electronic-standards that helped the UK’s dance music explode so long ago. Not to mention it cashes in the broader trend of a return to this classic dance-music sound.
There’s definitely still a somber tone here, one that should be all-to-familiar to longtime Hot Chip fans, but that back beat keeps my feet tapping throughout.
Check out the video below, featuring a bizarre time-hop-style narrative about lost love:
This is actually the second single from Why Make Sense? which is set to drop May 18th. The first single, “Huarache Lights,” wreaks even more of mid-90′s dance halls in the best way possible. With synth-squeaks and robo-voice samples, there’s a lot to love on this track. Check it out below: