Best Albums Of 2012 – #20 – Chairlift – Something

Chairlift Something album artwork cover Listen Before You Buy Best Albums of 2012

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Chairlift‘s Something was the first album of the year that knocked me off my feet. Beginning with The Cars/Ocasek-infused power anthem “Sidewalk Safari”, which managed to turn the mundane into an expedition, it was just what the doctor ordered to revive my willpower from the strains of an exhausting 2011.

Subjects such as the emotional physicality of relationships are handled by using smooth transitions from over-the-edge heights to cool, sophisticated slow-burners, characterized by crisp, electronic pop gems. Their ethereal qualities are kicked up a notch with crystaline bells, hooks, and chimes. Combined with the vocal virtuosities of Caroline Polachek, and the dynamic production values of multi-instrumentalist/producer Aaron Pfenning, Chairlift have taken themselves from a neither-here-nor-there band to a group with a signature style that rests comfortably alongside the likes of Glasser and School Of Seven Bells.

For me, “Amanaemonesia” was the penultimate dance anthem of 2012, and still holds the ability to lift to dizzying heights long after the party is over and the glitter has faded. Polachek’s occasional whoops and vocal bursts mix things up to lend it a spacy and unexpected sensibility, yet the arrangements thoroughly retain a certain sense of comforting nostalgia. Poppy without using pop hooks as a crutch, versatile and challenging without being shrouded in obscurity, Something offers a bit of everything for all ears.

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