With electronic dance music bursting into mainstream consciousness, one could argue that Skrillex is the new Britney. Sound crazy? DJs now occupy the same mighty shoes as rock stars: headlining festivals, selling out arenas and nabbing Grammys. So if electronic dance music is the new pop, should indie dance-rockers prepare to share the spotlight? The signs were around even before the EDM bubble started to inflate: See LCD Soundsystem’s continued world domination, even posthumously, or the line that stretched around the block for a party headlined by the Rapture and Tanlines last month at House of Vans in Brooklyn. Among the trendy synth-rock acts riding the electronic-music wave to the top is Hot Chip.
Not that this British group is new to the scene—after five studio albums and nearly a decade of experience, it wouldn’t be unfair to consider them veterans. But Hot Chip’s new and very solid record, In Our Heads, might just lift the group from underground-darling status to electropop ubiquity. The house-heavy disc refines the fashionably disheveled crew’s reflective, synth-driven experiments, resulting in its most ambitious and gratifying effort yet.
At once clever and dance-floor-ready, these tracks are poised to become anthems for even the most skeptical scenester kids, from the blissfully bubbling “These Chains,” which pulses effusively like a warm electronic heart, to R&B slow-jam stunner “Look at Where We Are.” Does this mean Hot Chip will be headlining a stadium next time it hits town? In a way, we hope not—we’d prefer to keep these quirky Brits to ourselves. But it may be too late for that.—Marley Lynch
Hot Chip plays Coachella Saturday April 13 and Saturday April 20.