“I tried to do handstands for you, I tried to do handstands for you, but every time I fell on you, yeah, every time I fell for you…”
So went the lyrics to Chairlift’s breakout single from 2008; “Bruises”. I remember hearing that single from the Brooklyn by way of Boulder, Colorado band for the first time when a friend passed me their MySpace page in hopes that I could book them for a band showcase night that I was doing at the time. Sadly, the show never came about, but I remember liking what I heard instantly.
I also remember thinking that the band was going to be big. Sure enough, mere months later, “Bruises” was in an iPod commercial, and the band’s debut “Does You Inspire You?” began receiving a lot of media attention. Indeed, it seemed it was damn near impossible not to fall for Chairlift.
The songs were so interesting; insanely catchy, but so well layered that you were rewarded in a different way upon each subsequent listen.
When I saw that they were offering a track to stream from the forthcoming album, “Something”, I was intrigued. When I read that lead singer Caroline Polachek wanted to make songs that a 10 –year-old could hear on the radio and get really excited about, the way she was hearing Donna Lewis’ “I Love You Always Forever”, I was… um… well, still pretty intrigued.
You would expect a band like Chairlift who moved from the remarkably solid indie label Kanine to Columbia Records to be poised for bigger and bolder hits. I just hoped that the well crafted, and slightly off beat arrangements were still in place.
Thankfully, the song “Met Before” offers a glimpse of a band who has matured in all of the right ways. Not only is the arrangement as impeccable as ever, Polachek’s voice has grown into that of a confident, assured woman.
Coupled with the delightfully strong drums on the track, it calls to mind perhaps a more accessible version of the band Broadcast (R.I.P.) Trish Keenan, and maybe even a hint of Stereolab. Little details like the tastefully placed chimes, and synths are thrilling, and the refraining bah-bah-bah breakdown takes that time honored pop tradition to new heights. Be prepared to fall again, and again, and again…
Also, a little bird tells me that we will soon be offering “Something” to stream in it’s entirety as part of KCRW’s album preview. If “Met Before” is any indication, this will be a top contender for the best of 2012