Monday, February 13th, 2012

Chairlift – I Belong In Your Arms

Yep, we’ve definitely gone soft.


Alex Ostroff: I cannot explain what this song does to me. Most of the time this Breakfast Club synth-washed 80s nostalgia pop is cutesy and irrelevant. Even when it’s gorgeous, the entire vibe feels too self-indulgent for me to get past, and the lyrics are vague and silly and I end up feeling uncomfortable. But this song. This glorious song. “Swear to God / Double-knot” conveys the intensity of the secret language of childhood best friends — those shorthand phrases that develop only through intimate knowledge of the pathways of someone else’s brain.  It sounds like the best way to say “cross my heart / hope to die” ever.

Edward Okulicz: If Ladyhawke were less awkward and able to do abandon, “Black, White & Blue” might have sounded like this. What “this” sounds like is Bow Wow Wow grown up and covering A-Ha for an 80s teen rom-com, in a good way. Yes, that means it’s come out maybe 30 years too late for it to be the great 80s anthem for girls with hairbrushes dancing in front of their mirrors. But it’s not too late for me.

Anthony Easton: I love the ease of this: the bell chimes, the chugging guitars, her effortless vocals, that delightful little whoop, and the sweetness of the lyrics.

Alfred Soto: Drums lifted from the Footloose soundtrack, feminine desire pitched to a synth-orchestrated empyrean, not a rational thought in sight — what the bloody hell is this, a Christine McVie track from Tango in the Night? I never cared for Judd Nelson and his Flaring Nostrils of Angst, you know.

Brad Shoup: It’s those Loggins drums again. So much pop on the artsier end of the spectrum conveys an unsupportable load of intensity, and something as simple as light-stepping drum programming puts this rangy New Wave homage in a much more complicated realm. The basswork is great: the spiralling flourishes, the free improvish chickenscratch solo. There’s no place to rest among the shimmering, skittering waves. 

Jer Fairall: Martika’s “Toy Soldiers” or T’Pau’s “Heart and Soul” with a less commanding chorus, the pitter patter of this particular drum machine and the vague air of new age ethereality leave me nostalgic for an era I’d never realized I missed. As “I Belong In Your Arms” belongs to 2012, and not 1987, though, it’s real competition right now is Ladyhawke’s “Black, White & Blue” in which case now, just as then, my affections will always wander towards pop of a more immediately pleasurable sort. There’s only so much time I can spend wandering around with my head in the clouds, no matter how blissfully. 

John Seroff: I guess there’s probably something to say for a song that can play in the background for an hour without you consciously noticing it. Congratulations? Condolences? Good luck?

Katherine St Asaph: Brooklynites burble a trickle compared to “Amanaemonesia.”

Iain Mew: “I’m melting into you”! Not only is this song adorable, it manages to perfectly sum up the feeling of listening to it perfectly in one phrase better than I ever could.

Dan Weiss: The kind of airy, familiar sugar that critics double over themselves producing cliches to describe. All silly love songs and hermetically-sealed hipster art should be so melodically generous.

Michaela Drapes: This pushes too many of my buttons for me to be objective — there’s some late Fleetwood Mac, plus early Cocteau Twins and nods to lots of dance-y business with melodic basslines straight outta Sheffield. I think that’s partially why I hated Chairlift at first, this odd throwback melange that they produce so perfectly is kind of off-putting at first. But I’ve actually been listening to this new album quite a bit, and am happy to see they’ve got some staying power.

9 Responses to “Chairlift – I Belong In Your Arms”

  1. Not getting this at all.

  2. Thanks, Alex. I’m glad you also heard John Hughes Soundtrack ™ also — though I was feeling it later, more Pretty in Pink-ish, even if this is clearly beholden to post punk rather than the New Romantics.

  3. This is not anywhere close to the best track on the Chairlift album. (The one I linked is an [8] easily, probably a [9]. I might just be responding to its hook, but that’s what hooks are for.)

  4. Well, that’s just good news then.

  5. oh it’s TOTALLY John Hughes Soundtrack™ but did we really need more of that?

  6. This is beholden to Chynna Clugston “manga” that is beholden to John Hughes soundtracks.

  7. @Sabina: ooh, good call.

  8. @Sabina & j.bogs: Now that’s a reference I wasn’t expecting. Still, not a Clugston fan myself — it’s been too long, though, for me to remember why exactly. I’m afraid I unloaded my Blue Mondays about 10 (?!) years ago.

  9. I really did listen to this for an hour. I really can’t for the life of me remember how it goes.