CHAIR­LIFT

Exclaim! - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN CARLICK

HALF­WAY THROUGH ITS 40-MINUTE RUN­TIME, you’ll find the seed from which Brook­lyn avant­pop duo Chair­lift’s third al­bum, Moth, grew. While all ten songs sound as weight­less as fall­ing in love feels, only the record’s fifth track, “Cry­ing in Pub­lic,” was in­spired by that very sen­sa­tion.

The song, the re­frain of which gushes “I’m sorry I’m cry­ing in pub­lic this way, I’m fall­ing for you,” was writ­ten, ex­plains singer, pro­ducer and in­stru­men­tal­ist Caro­line Po­lachek, “around the time that I was re­al­iz­ing I’d fallen in love with some­one. It hit me quite fast, ac­tu­ally. I re­al­ized that I was with some­one who I cared very deeply for, who was chang­ing me, mak­ing me a bet­ter per­son. It puts you in a very vul­ner­a­ble state of mind.”

There’s a gos­samer qual­ity to the song’s pro­duc­tion, all sparkling synth, sparse gui­tar and hol­low­sound­ing per­cus­sion, that ex­tends through­out the del­i­cate but pow­er­ful Moth into the warped hot air bursts of “Ottawa to Osaka,” a song about fall­ing asleep and wak­ing from a dream in a for­eign coun­try, and the airy “Moth to the Flame,” a gen­tly throb­bing lament about a fool­ish heart’s de­sire. The breezi­ness of the ar­range­ments be­lie the metic­u­lous ap­proach to and emo­tive na­ture of the duo’s song­writ­ing, the prod­uct of a nearly decade-long tran­si­tion from twee in­die pop trio in 2008 to syn­th­pop ex­per­i­men­tal­ists and Bey­oncé song­writ­ers — they con­trib­uted “No An­gel” to the singer’s land­mark 2013 LP — in more re­cent years.

“I feel like we’ve known that we could pro­duce an al­bum our­selves for a while, but we just didn’t,” claims fel­low pro­ducer and in­stru­men­tal­ist Pa­trick Wim­berly. “We wanted to work with other peo­ple, other pro­duc­ers, just as a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore this. But on this record, it was time for us to do it our­selves. We had a lot of con­fi­dence go­ing into it.”

That sense of con­fi­dence — tri­umph, even — is es­pe­cially au­di­ble on al­bum high­light “Ch- Ching,” a snap-and-clap shuf­fle buoyed by chimes and horn stabs that demon­strates Chair­lift’s abil­ity to con­vey mean­ing as much by mu­sic as by lyrics.

“I think it’s, quite sim­ply, an ex­pres­sion of per­sonal joy,” Po­lachek says of Moth’s emo­tional sonic lan­guage. “I was think­ing, ‘Even if some­one who’s lis­ten­ing to the al­bum doesn’t speak English, can this mu­sic con­vey some­thing per­sonal, give them a feel­ing that they can un­der­stand?’ I was very in­spired by that.”

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