Though it would be a reactionary statement to say that Hot Chip
is no more, one can't help but express such suspicions. It's been nearly three years since Britain's hottest indie-electronic group has released new material, and while you could say that no new is good news, the longer the group perpetuates the silence the more ominous it becomes.
So it's at least some relief to know that while the group itself isn't active, its members are still flexing their creative muscles and pursuing other endeavors. Alexis Taylor, lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and de-facto frontman in particular has been making moves lately, following up the 2016 release of his solo album Piano
with the release of a new single and album announcement.
"Beautiful Thing", which comes from the upcoming album of the same name, has dropped today along with a companion music video. A bold release, it's a return to form for Taylor, at least in that it conforms more to the sound he helped establish in Hot Chip than the piano-driven work found in his last two solo releases. Right off the bat "Beautiful Thing" presents itself as less of a song and more of a shifting, conscious entity. Growling and varied synth sounds lend an almost animalistic character to the track, and in concert with the eclectic and diverse range of instrumentals the track is Frankensteinian in nature, with clashing and complementary bits and pieces all mashed together into one.
While "Beautiful Thing" threatens to spill over into grotesquery the madness is tempered well by its second act, switching gears to a more melodic, dance-inspired rhythm with a piano that is simultaneously very groovy and reminiscent of dance tracks from days gone by that I can't quite place. Seriously, give it a listen and if you can tell me where you've heard the piano riff at the midpoint from before then get in touch, because it's been killing me.
Bookended by some pretty monstrous designs of electronica, "Beautiful Thing" actually holds an alluring quality. It's a throwback to what you might remember Hot Chip turning out on a regular basis throughout the mid-to-late aughts and hopefully a sign that Beautiful Thing
will be well, a beautiful thing.
is out April 20 via Domino Records.