I prefer Hot Chip when they’re mellow. A great deal of their music, particularly their earlier work, has a sharpness, an angularity; it suits plenty of songs (I can’t imagine “Over and Over” working as a ‘softer’ song) but my favourite Hot Chip songs tend to have a warm sentimentality to them. Their sound over the latest couple albums (One Life Stand and now In Our Heads) has shifted towards this warmer sound, but each of these albums includes a standout track that, to me, is like a warm blanket of electro-pop.
From One Life Stand it was the title track, a heartfelt and mature ode to a committed relationship, a song that’s now inextricably linked to my own relationship with my partner. From In Our Heads it’s “Motion Sickness,” the album’s opening track. I don’t really have any idea what it’s about, but I love how it builds, gradually adding instruments and layers of sound without ever feeling crowded or noisy.
“Motion Sickness” is a tired, satisfied dance, on your own, in the early morning when everyone else has gone home. It’s finding a secret gift from a good friend. It’s a happy reunion. It’s simply a beautiful song.