Chairlift 'Something'

Updated: 29 Jun 2012

Time Out says

Rating: 3/5

This Brooklyn electropop duo scored a left-field semi-hit in 2008 when Apple used its song ‘Bruises’ in a catchy iPod nano commercial (it’s the bubbly little ditty in which lead singer Caroline Polachek insists she tried to do handstands for you). Several years later, Chairlift – minus Aaron Pfenning, now working under the name Rewards – is back with a major label sophomore disc produced by Dan Carey, who’s also collaborated with the likes of pop royalties Kylie Minogue and Christina Aguilera.

So does ‘Something’ reveal Polacheck and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wimberly’s desire to crack the Top 40 for real this time? Not quite: Most of these 11 tunes still luxuriate in their vintage-synth textures in a way that hook-oriented radio hits tend not to; there’s a wordless bridge in ‘I Belong in Your Arms’, for example, built entirely around what sounds like an overactive vacuum cleaner.

That said, highlights such as ‘Met Before’ and the twinkling ‘Amanaemonesia’ (first released as a seven-inch single on Grizzly Bear bassist Chris Taylor’s Terrible Records) exude a newfound confidence that speaks to Chairlift’s elevated status. And given the right placement – in an iPad 3 or iPhone 5 spot, perhaps? – it’s not hard to imagine a slinky indie-disco jam like ‘Ghost Tonight’ ensnaring a few hundred thousand Rihanna and Nicki Minaj fans out there. Mikael Wood