Hot Chip's Joe and Felix give their track-by-track low-down on their new record.
Read NME's review of 'One Life Stand'
Thieves In The Night
Joe Goddard: “That song we did in a lot of different ways – we tried a version that was influenced by The Velvet Underground. We’ve got MP3s of it somewhere. We thought it could be a good one to start an album with, like, the curtains opening to reveal something."
Hand Me Down Your Love
Joe: “Alexis [Taylor, vocals] had a dream where I’d written a new song called ‘Hand Me Down Your Love’. When he woke up he wrote it. That’s happened for a couple of songs. It’s great, ’cos you don’t have to do any work, your unconscious brain just gives it to you!”
Felix Martin: “Charles Hayward play drums on that. He’s a great character, he was involved in recording a lot of the tracks. He’s a real English eccentric and a well-respected veteran of London’s experimental music scene. He’s been in bands like This Heat, and he went on for ages about how much he loves Abba.”
I Feel Better
Joe: “People have said it sounds a lot like ‘La Isla Bonita’ by Madonna. To me it sounded like ‘Good Life’ by Inner City. The lyrics are saying that humanity is fucked. You could be down about it, but being with someone you love can make things better. That’s the reason we use Auto-Tune. We thought it’s not something T-Pain addresses in his lyrics.”
One Life Stand
Felix: “It’s my favourite Hot Chip tune that’s come into existence.”
Joe: “It involuntarily makes people put their hands in the air. We went through lots of different album titles. One was ‘A Question Of Sport’, but we imagined being on an American breakfast radio show and them totally not getting it.”
Joe: “We went on tour with Matthew Dear a couple of years ago. He wanted to write a song about the brotherhood of being bands on the road. I thought it was a good idea, so I started writing it, but it turned out to be more of a song about my brother. I’d like it to be played in gay clubs, because women have more songs of that nature, such as ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge, so I felt like men needed one.”
Joe: “Al [Doyle] plays the flugelhorn, which he learned especially. He has this incredible but annoying ability of being able to pick up an instrument and play it immediately, which if you were a superhero would be a rubbish power, but as a musician it’s good.”
Felix: “It started as a demo three years ago and it was quite a heartfelt song with a little, private sound. But we ended up playing it on the road a lot it and it became something bigger.”
We Have Love
Joe: “We only added this one towards the end of making the record. I wanted to combine the garage feeling of a classic underground dancey song with a big chorus that sounds a bit like gospel.”
Joe: “(Joking after press reports that SuBo inspired the song) This is the one that is written in honour of Susan Boyle.”
Felix: “She sent us a demo of her version of ‘Over And Over’, but it was so bad that we couldn’t release it, so we felt bad and wrote a song in honour of her.”
Take It In
Joe: “There’s songs like ‘Stand On The Word’ by The Joubert Singers, which is an old Larry Levan Paradise Garage classic, where it was a gospel choir from Brooklyn that sang it, which was an incredibly uplifting record. It’s another one of those ones that
gets people to put their hands in the air without wanting to. I’m a sucker for those records.”
Felix: “It’s my dad’s favourite on the album."
What about the album artwork?
Felix: “It’s got a big representation of a stone bust, a statue of the Roman Emperor, Adrian. It was dreamed up by Owen [Clarke]. He became fascinated with images of heavy statue sculptures being lifted in the air with big straps. We liked the fact that it’s got a relationship with the album title, it’s got a heavy, permanent thing that’s being lifted up so it’s quite fragile.”