New Build, In Your Heads

The big news first: there’s a new Hot Chip album coming in June, and you can’t even believe how excited I am about that. In Your Heads drops in via Domino Records, and it’s going to have a hard job matching, let alone topping, the brilliance of One Life Stand. I praised that album’s lush pop sensibility, and the way it introduced old-fashioned romance to high-tech electro.

Hot Chip have matured into a bit of a national treasure: they write solid songs that are impeccably produced, and then tour them to within an inch of their lives, reinventing the arrangements every night. I think In Your Heads is going to be Mk. II of the Hot Chip lover’s Hot Chip album.

The band’s sudden burst of productivity has not been limited to the core unit, however. There have been spin-off acts aplenty, the most publicised of which is The 2 Bears (Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and his mate Raf Rundell, dressed up in comedy furry bear outfits, making big-tent dance music). Now there is also New Build, which features Al Doyle (vest-wearing, bespectacled, also moonlighted in LCD Soundsystem) and Felix Martin (messes around with drum machines and synths at the back of the stage). They used to be called Lanark; they’ve spent five years making the album that will be called Yesterday Was Lived & Lost.

Judging by songs like “Mercy” (see above) and “Finding Reasons“, New Build manage to be both icier and more tropical than Hot Chip. The synth pads have a crystallised sheen that screams 1980s art gallery opening, and the pair’s vocals are detached and aloof; on the other hand, loose-limbed percussion runs amok, and Doyle’s scratchy electric guitar jumps up throughout. It all sounds rather promising—like the love-child of Tom Tom Club and Yazoo.

Hot Chip’s In Your Heads is released on 11th June, on Domino Records. New Build’s Yesterday Was Lived & Lost is released on 5th March, on Lanark.


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