Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
A library card can take you anywhere, the card catalogue council will tell you, but it doesn't really get you to those warm and fuzzy feelings of human touch and the love that sometimes accompanies those hands and lips. Those are just pages made out of paper, made out of hard trees, soaked and flattened into sheets that hold inked up thoughts. They can be cold or they can be warm, but they can't be worn or hugged back. Words are replacements, space holders for what they hope to invoke or bring on, as if the veins of love are like balloons that haven't been blown up yet, just limp and rubbery and lying droopily like a pile of sailing rope. Brooklyn three-piece Chairlift has made the most out of library cards and used bookstores for a long time, it would seem, coming to know how a plot should go, how the main characters should interact with one another when there are tied tongues or when eyes connect for the first few times. They've obviously had first-hand, too close for comfort experiences that confirmed the ways that people sometimes make other people feel infirm and hollow, but there's a sense of literate understanding of how the frame should go around those images and photographs of the incidents as they're playing out in the real time that everything is drawn by these days. The cavalcade of impulses and the flickering lights of inspired details - should they come from the lands of the living or the lands of the dead written words on page - is one jumbled enclave when it comes to the mesmerizing songs Caroline Polachek, Patrick Wimberly and Aaron Pfenning roll out like soft bellies, long legs and smalls of backs. Polachek is enchantingly beautiful, with her bookish glasses, ponytail and new takes on common themes, and can be pictured folded onto a hard oak chair in a university's cavernous library, stuck between shelves up in the musky fiction department, intimately devouring novel after novel from the American greats who probably drank themselves into despair and then into death at a relatively young age. The band's ubiquitous hit single "Bruises," famously used in an ad campaign to introduce the fourth generation iPod nano (where the rainbowed colors drip from the playback devices in gushing nose bleeds), is a timeless nod to love not sticking the way that at least one party envisioned it would. It's a number that is both melancholy and over the moon cathartic with its sweeter than cane ooos and more of them and its dedication to giving proper young weight to the infatuation that ended in ruins - with the frozen strawberries not soothing any of the blacks or blues. It's a lovely gesture, those strawberries, though and they're at the crux of what Chairlift do so well in its lo-fidelity danceables, its slow rumblers of perky shoegaze. There is a lot of brain mixed in with the heart, the soul and the sweat beads that will find their ways down from the temples and into the corners of your eyes. They will keep you tremendous company in the dark, looking through old photos and re-reading some Flanner O'Connor or Carson McCullers, nursing anything that's been broken lately, even if it's just a promise or a window. It would help if it's a big red heart though. It will be the complete experience.
Chairlift Official Site