Five albums into a fairly niche career it is perhaps surprising Hot Chip aren’t bored of it all by now; it is not like they are on top of the world or the biggest band in the country. Maybe they just prefer it that way?
On previous efforts Hot Chip have on occasion sounded like they’ve had too much sound at their disposal, but not enough ideas to do anything substantial with it. Producing ‘In Our Heads’ themselves, and having complete control seems to have done done them no end of favours, as they’ve got the balance just right this time.
They’ve acknowledged ‘Monkeys and miniature cymbals’ won’t always cut the mustard, and have not only found a new sound, they’ve found one better than their old one.
Take opener ‘Motion Sickness’ it’s not particularly loud, challenging or even exciting but it just feels.. right and a lot of this album is the same. It just sounds like it’s supposed to.
It’s subtleness is also one it’s many surprises, take slow jam ‘Look at Where We Are’ which carries traces of a Jamie XX track crossed with James Blake’s magnificent ‘CMYK.’ But take nothing away from how smoothly original the track is.
Tracks like first single ‘Night & Day’ & ‘These Chains’ would still be more than welcome on any ‘indie’ club dance floor but they also point towards Hot Chip being a fabulously rounded pop band, in almost the same way Friendly Fires succeeded with their sophomore ‘PALA’ last year.
The constant shift in changes of sound throughout ‘In Our Heads’ might be too much for some people (there are moments of 70s soft rock to slabs of Mid-Tempo House) but for those able to keep up with it’s diversity and textures it’s a sound that rewards the listener faultlessly.
Despite being a constant on the music landscape for the past six years, (even if only at the the back of our minds), Hot Chip are not comfortable pop stars. ‘In Our Heads’ is a resoundingly terrific 11 song LP, and one that will see them move closer to the forefront.
Tracklist: Hot Chip – In Our Heads
01. Motion Sickness
02. How Do You Do
03. Don’t Deny Your Heart
04. Look At Where We Are
05. These Chains
06. Night and Day
08. Now There Is Nothing
09. Ends of the Earth
10. Let Me Be Him
11. Always Been Your Love
In Our Heads is now out on Domino Records