Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Moth | Chairlift

Chairlift's third studio album is packed with pop music for the alternaman.

Titled Moth, it's a lot to take in for the average pop fan. While it's lyrically fueled on the basic stages of falling in and out of love, the duo's production choices are strikingly unorthodox, oftentimes assertive and sometimes abrasive. And the detail work done to lead vocalist Caroline Polachek's voice renders it consistently slick and watery, although it's employed in the name of artistic direction rather than pitch overcorrection. But beneath it all, the album does rest on a solid synthpop base; their fascination with left-of-center extraneity simply strays attention away from the ingenious melodic motives within.

Perhaps their appeal is most easily revealed to the layman by "Crying in Public," a two-stepping track that carries a pleasing little melody line, or "Moth to the Flame," the second cousin to modern house music that thrives in the power of lyrical repetition over a dancing synth groove. From there, a greater appreciation can be extended to experimental madhouses like "Ch-Ching" and "Ottawa to Osaka" or the lyrical dabbling of "Polymorphing" and "Romeo" that successfully attempt to translate moods rather than experiences -- because while this record is pop music for alternative ears, its accessibility isn't to be undermined.

Moth is available under Columbia Records.

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