Britain’s most fiercely loved electro-romantics, Hot Chip, are pleased to confirm news of the eighth album Freakout/Release, due for release on August 19 via Domino. Freakout/Release is another dizzying high in a multi-decade career that’s seen Hot Chip continuing to innovate and develop a rich, resonant songcraft. And while they continue to operate at peak form, the album also feels like a new chapter for the group—a collection of flesh-and-blood songs that finds the band reaching into the darkness to emerge as a true creative unit, their gazes fixed positively on the future ahead.
The five piece – comprised of Owen Clarke, Al Doyle, Joe Goddard, Felix Martin (not pictured) and Alexis Taylor – also share the uufirst cut from the record, the album’s vibrant and expansive opening track, the phenomenal ear-worm “Down.”
“Down” was the first song the band worked on for the record; anchored around a sample of Universal Togetherness Band’s “More Than Enough” that Joe Goddard had looped, it kicked off the writing process and the band finished the song in a burst of energy. The video, directed by iconic British trailblazers Douglas Hart and Steve Mackey, merges strobing lights, metal welding, distorted images of the band alongside a reference to The Shining.
Freakout/Release was written and recorded in the band’s newly minted Relax & Enjoy Studio in East London, a creative space that Al Doyle put together before and during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coalescing in the Relax & Enjoy Studio was essential in establishing the album’s lively, full-band sound and marks the first time Hot Chip began work on a new record all together as well as reuniting them in the same room for the first time following their touring behind 2019’s A Bath Full Of Ecstasy.
Lyrically, Freakout/Release explores darker emotions than previous Hot Chip albums have, drawing from the personal and the political to chart the ways people survive even amidst immovable struggles. “We were living through a period where it was very easy to feel like people were losing control of their lives in different ways,” Goddard explains. “There’s a darkness that runs through a lot of those tracks.” Thankfully, Hot Chip aren’t alone while exploring emotionally uncertain territory. Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon features on “The Evil That Men Do”, British DJ and musician Lou Hayter lends her vocals to the slinky “Hard to Be Funky,” while legendary production duo Soulwax contribute additional magic to the raucous title track.
Photo Courtesy: Matilda Hill-Jenkins