Hot Chip Biography

In Our Heads (2-LPs)
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In Our Heads (2-LPs)
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Made In The Dark (2012 Reissue)
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London, England-based band formed in 2000 by regular collaborators Alexis Taylor (vocals/keyboards) and Joe Goddard (vocals, keyboards, percussion), who were joined in a live setting by Owen Clarke (keyboards/guitar), Felix Martin (drums) and Al Do-It (Al Doyle, Leeds, England; keyboards, guitar, vocals). On their early recordings, Hot Chip created a near-novelty R&B music (dubbed ‘slapcore’), where the ‘B’ in the acronym stood for ‘bedroom’. Whether out of honesty or for comedic effect, they drew on the tension between their love of the production on, for example, Brandy’s ‘What About Us?’ and their own Englishness, such that on ‘Playboy’, a track from their 2004 debut album Coming On Strong inspired by the Neptunes, they sing about ‘blazing Yo La Tengo’ from their Peugeot while driving round Putney, south London. Despite their experimental nature, Hot Chip’s early work sounded peculiarly brittle, pasty and a little guileless, perhaps understandably, given that they made their music from a box room and regularly utilised toy instruments. Frequently, they seemed to be making (bedroom) pop about pop: having their cake and eating it, their debut single (‘Down With Prince’) chastised Prince imitators while simultaneously imitating the artist. From such near novelty Hot Chip charmed, drawing pathos from sad and pathetic situations.

Having gained a major label contract with EMI Records, Taylor and Goddard recruited the other three musicians as full-time members and set about creating a more fully realised studio album. The results were outstanding, with ‘Over And Over’, ‘(Just Like We) Breakdown’ and ‘And I Was A Boy From School’ from their Mercury Music Prize nominated second album, The Warning (2006), celebrated as some of the finest music of the year. The quintet’s live shows were also roundly applauded for their verve and playfulness. An excellent session for the DJ-Kicks series provided an overview of their various influences (Etta James, Ray Charles, This Heat, Positive K), alongside a solitary new track (‘My Piano’). Hot Chip’s transition to mainstream acceptance was confirmed by 2008’s Made In The Dark, a delightful fusion of electronics, indie rock and bedroom ballads. Hot Chip has notably remixed Sia, Scissor Sisters, Bright Eyes, Amy Winehouse, and Queens Of The Stone Age.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.