Hot Chip are one of the most consistently inconsistent acts of the 21st century

Hot Chip are one of the most consistently inconsistent acts of the 21st century

Words by Tammy Walters

It’s time we got ready for the arrival of legendary English synth-pop group, Hot Chip.

Exceeding their flight carry-on allowance with A Bath Full of Ecstasy this March, the band will be dropping into Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane alongside special festival appearances at Golden Plains and Farmer & The Owl.

After a four-year gap between album six and seven, the five-piece have been excited to reintroduce themselves to live audiences and blend their colourful catalogue of songs into a celebratory concoction.   

“When we play live, it will be quite celebratory with those moments and we have quite a few songs to draw on … We have worked the aesthetic and material from the new record into the set in a way where it does feel very natural and it does reflect the record in the high points and the quieter moments. It will be like a party,” says guitarist Owen Clarke.

Hot Chip have been one of the most consistently inconsistent acts of the 21st century, regularly taking breaks between albums due to external projects, but their ability to stay at the forefront of the pop landscape and continually redefine what the pop world is has been unparalleled.

They came on strong in 2004 and seven albums and 15 years later, they’ve managed to not only find their feet but blaze a trail for others to follow.

“When we were starting out we were an odd proposition. We would end up at very arts/EDM festivals in the states or like indie-rock things in the UK. We didn’t quite land so well. I think we’ve come a long way culturally and musically. There is steering a course in music and then just kind of being around, you get to experience the first rush of an emerging scene and it’s the nature of music consumption.

“People do dip into what was happening ten years ago or 15 years ago and that’s a fun thing to still be present for,” Clarke explains. When it comes to keeping on top of the pop scope though, Clarke says the group tend to revert back to their original influences.

“You don’t want to try and keep up too much. If you do it’s going to sound really lame which is not a good look. It’s always good to be excited about stuff and have that want to do more things.

“We do have lots of different influences going in there and there is that consistency going in there each time, the same deck of cards essentially but we throw a few jokers in there; to try to do new stuff but stay
true to yourself.”

A Bath Full of Ecstasy sinks into Hot Chip’s batch of tracks seamlessly with a sense of nostalgia attached, particularly ‘Melody of Love’ and the Daft Punk, Discovery-style journey it takes from start to finish. The group opted for both substance and breadth on this album.

“A lot of them start off as e-pop songs, they get longer and then have that respect for that pop-aesthetic and the idea of things being accessible,” Clarke says. “Obviously we want to do things that are fun or strange … In a way we were going for the jugular and trying to make quite poppy songs, I think it’s our natural inclination. We’ll do a really structured song and then we’ll go, ‘Ok we want to hear the extended twelve-minute version of that’. Being a bit longer there may be a bit more of chance for the record to be its own world.”

Hot Chip will come to Golden Plains alongside the likes of Pixies, Stereolab, Sleaford Mods, Weyes Blood, Sampa The Great and more.

Hot Chip come to The Forum (sold out) on Saturday March 7. They’ll also hit Golden Plains (sold out) when it goes down from Saturday March 7 to Monday March 9.