Tuesday, 10 November 2009

45: Hot Chip - Hold On

Hot Chip are the least likely pop stars of their generation. Nerds with guitars and laptops, sitting in their bedrooms at home, aren't supposed to have top ten albums and singles. Pop stars have a certain "look", Hot Chip look like cast members from 'The Big Bang Theory', all spectacles and knitwear. These guys shouldn't be mates with Kylie, but they are. They are the anti-stereotype.

After years of grafting at the fringes of the UK music scene, 2006 album, 'The Warning' provided the significant breakthrough in their career. The critically acclaimed album, voted best that year by Mixmag, managed to bridge the gap between indie shoegaze and electronic dance. 'Over And Over' was NME's single of the year, and was unavoidable - every TV show, every branch of TopShop, every radio station was playing it. A string of high energy live shows merely enhanced their reputation.

Tricky second album time, folks. Not for the Hot Chip boys, whose 2008 long player, 'Made In The Dark' was, if anything, better than its predecessor. It spawned the chart-bothering 'Ready For The Floor', but the whole album (reputedly inspired by Prince's 'Sign O' The Times') was packed with impressive electronic dance anthems, like 'Shake A Fist', 'Bendable Poseable', 'One Pure Thought' and this song.

'Hold On' is a relentless, growling song, building and building to a crescendo until the drums come crashing down on the chorus. Hot Chip's lyrics are nonsense, as on all their previous work, but don't let that put you off. "I'm only going to heaven if it feels like hell, I'm only going to heaven if it tastes like caramel" sings Alexis Taylor.

Again, no video available sadly, but here's a truly astounding performance of the song from the BBC's 'Later With... Jools Holland' show.

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