If you’re looking for them, the clues are there in plain sight. Right there, in the glimmer and thump of opening track ‘Huarache Lights’, a looped mantra nails
Hot Chip’s collective psyche six albums in. It’s simple but pensive:
“Replace us with the things that do the job better.”
It’s both a bold call to arms and a statement of nagging doubt. If they’ve been too long in the game, if they need replacing, somebody else better get on with it – and it better be good.
Alexis Taylor explains: “I was trying to capture the feeling of excitement I get when hearing Joe’s new music for the first time, and collaborating with him on it. Huarache Lights are some trainers I love – but in the song they’re a shorthand for something modern, something very London, and for the kind of escapism and fun of a Friday night at Plastic People – which is where we were heading to DJ when we were making that track. The record is about the excitement of choosing what you might wear, choosing which records you will play. But at the same time, it’s asking whether we as a band are getting old, whether people still care. The answer is meant to lie in the music.”
The questions ‘Huarache Lights’ posts should probably be asked by any band serious about facing the future. What do we mean fifteen years in? Is there a newer model waiting at the side of stage, readying to make us obsolete? And if there is, why do what’s expected of us anyway?
It might not be an answer to the titular question but it does offer a strong a sense of purpose. A strength that sustains one of the most singular, innovative writing partnerships in British music, and ensures that one of the best live acts on the planet continues to hone a sound that’s unique and unarguable, a sound that translates from nightclubs to festival stages without compromise. And it hammers home the notion that on the strength of Why Make Sense? – an unarguable creative peak – no one has built a machine that can replace Hot Chip yet.