Pop music is a complex beast. It has the power to uplift or obscure, to transcend or digress. Many uncomfortable truths have been exposed over the recent past, and pop stars have a massive platform to reach the masses and shape the conversation, but as much as the world needs to face the music head on, the path of least resistance (and industry capital) often flows towards ignorance rather than revelation.
A pleasing, mature release that begins with a vintage mobile disco vibe before progressing to restrained and introspective keyboard contemplations Boogie is long overdue a mainstream revival. The misleadingly monikered microgenre added a bit of gutsy R&B bounce to sleek disco rhythms as the ’70s bled into the ’80s, and then played them in such an intensely uptight, airtight fashion you'd think they were planning on sending 12 inch singles to the Mariana Trench. What admirer of early Foals' buttoned-down pop wouldn't get a finicky frisson from Earth, Wind & Fire's cover of Got To Get You Into My Life? How many people nodding along to the airbrushed sounds of Everything Everything wouldn't find something to like in the antiseptic rubber bounce of Heatwave or Pure Energy? Hot Chip might be leading the revival by building Down, the opening track from their eighth album, around a loop from boogie obscurity More Than Enough, by Universal Togetherness Band.
For a group of musicians so committed to club culture lockdown must have come as a mild form of torture to Hot Chip. Now twenty years into their career, the group have an intimate connection with their audience, recontextualising club tropes into shimmering pop songs, both classic in construction and dazzlingly modern. New album 'Freakout/Release' is a conscious attempt to tap into their live energy for a post-lockdown environment, and while its bolshy thrills raise the temperature it perhaps lacks some of the striking emotional subtlety of their best work.