Jan 13

Chairlift: “Frigid Spring”


Patrick: “Hmmm…yes, yes…I see what you mean.” Caroline: It is, indeed, ‘something’ — I’m certain of that now. Patrick: “But let’s not let on what it is, and continue to look enigmatically away from the camera.” Caroline: “Yes, let’s.”

Since I wasn’t able to get this posted yesterday, I’m taking the unprecedented step of turning New Music Monday into New Music Tuesday. Or “New Mu Tue,” as I like to call it.

And today’s Reselection is a seasonally appropriate one at that, at least here in the Northwest, as the ski slopes are in full swing now: the band known as Chairlift, with a song called “Frigid Spring.” It’s from their album, Something, released in January of 2012, once again showing me to be quite the procrastinator, because it just gets in under my self-imposed 1-year limit for New Music Monday/Tuesday. As I seem to do this quite frequently, maybe I should just call it “One-Year-Old Music Monday” — that would certainly be a novel concept, no?

Something is chock full of Eighties New Wave sounds, filtered through the lens of today’s indie scene. Chairlift is a Brooklyn duo comprised of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly, and the two are very astute students of ’80s electronic pop — the influence of bands like Heaven 17, Yaz, Depeche Mode, A-ha, and the Thompson Twins make themselves apparent, but the album is far better than such a now-dated amalgam might suggest. Polachek’s soaring vocals carry the songs above their synth-pop leanings into more organic territory, the way that Alison Moyet’s did for Yaz (but minus Moyet’s more strident style).

“Frigid Spring” is the most acoustic song on the album, and it finds Chairlift beautifully channeling Siouxsie and the Banshees by way of the Cocteau Twins. (The way Polachek sings “Riding the ride and unleashing the tide/Of a maiden’s mood swing” in the chorus is pure Siouxsie Sioux.) The melody is gorgeous, and the haunting production is the cherry on the sundae. Building upon songs like this and refining their musical personality to make it even more distinctly their own should help Chairlift ride their way to the Top of the Indie Pops mountain in the not-too-distant future.

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