Barrowland, Glasgow, Tue 26 Feb
‘I guess we’ve always been outsiders,’ says Felix Martin, one fifth of geeky electro-pop outfit Hot Chip. ‘I think that comes across in our music. We seem to be unique, we’ve never felt closely related to any other bands, even bands we like.’
Hot Chip’s outsider status is in serious jeopardy. Their third album, Made in the Dark, is being widely touted as one of the finest records of 2008, and the buzz surrounding the band has recently amplified to an almighty roar.
Formed in London in 2000, and based around Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, the Chip are now a solid fivesome, having tightened their sound during a relentless eighteen-month tour promoting 2006’s The Warning. That album didn’t create too much fuss on release, but gradually built on word-of-mouth to a crescendo which culminated in Mercury and Ivor Novello nominations. Not that such accolades interest Hot Chip much.
‘I’m glad we didn’t win the Mercury,’ says Martin frankly. ‘I think it would’ve exposed us too much. At the time we didn’t have a new record made, and the pressure might’ve got to us.’
Taking their time with the studio follow-up, the result is an album with a more expansive palette than previous Hot Chip outings. There are the nerdy yet incessantly catchy floor-fillers of before, sure, but there is also a more thoughtful, deeper approach, and a number of subdued ballads litter the record.
In the past, live Hot Chip outings bore little resemblance to their records. Part of this was down to the fact that Goddard and Taylor made the albums themselves, then fleshed things out with other members live. Made in the Dark was a much more collaborative studio project, all five Chippers getting involved, but don’t expect the gigs to be a simple facsimile.
‘We get bored very easily, especially with our own music,’ laughs Martin. ‘We’ll probably get frustrated, and change a lot of the songs as we go along, cos you can’t keep bashing away at the same thing for two years.’