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Interview: Alexis Taylor (Of Hot Chip)

By Will Oliver, August 11th 2014

Alexis Taylor

Alexis Taylor is the soft spoken vocalist and frontman of Hot Chip, the London outfit that has made you dance and one point or another. This year he released a new solo album called Await Barbarians a gentle album made for private listening on your headphones (his words).

Late last month I had the pleasuring of speaking to Taylor over the phone a week after seeing him play a show at Rough Trade. We spoke about a variety of things, such as how the show went, his new album, how he balances so many projects, and of course, the new Hot Chip album that is in production.

Find our full conversation posted below.
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Alexis Taylor at Rough Trade NYC (July 14, 2014)

By Will Oliver, July 16th 2014 — with 1 comment

1_Alexis Taylor

Back in May I caught an intimate performance from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor at The Manhattan Inn, a preview of his now recently released new album Await Barbarians. The album see’s a different version of Taylor at play, giving his own take on country inspired songs. At root, the electronic work that Taylor does with Hot Chip is the basis for the songs, giving him a fresh take on the genre, not quite your father’s country music.

On Monday night Taylor returned to New York to play a show at Rough Trade NYC. Last time he had Hot Chip drummer Sarah Jones and pedal steel guitarist Jonny Lam with him as his band. This time around there was no Jones to be found, but fellow Hot Chip member (and LCD Soundsystem member) Al Doyle helped Taylor out (Lam returned as well).

Just like last time the show featured a gentle and subdued version of Taylor, who performed many tracks off his album, as well as a few choice Hot Chip songs that included “Made In The Dark”, “Now There Is Nothing” and “Look At Where We Are” that got re-worked to fit the country vibe at hand. He also included some country covers, such as Dan Bodan’s “Under A Cancer Sky.” Although it was mostly a mellow evening, we saw a flash of Hot Chip when Taylor performed his track “Hot Squash” which came off his Nayim From The Halfway Line EP.

It was great to catch Taylor in such a different setting performing these songs, which are clearly personal to him. When an artist puts himself out there in such a way, the audience can’t help but be swept away in the process.
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Alexis Taylor

Hot Chip frontman/vocalist Alexis Taylor has announced his first solo album in nearly six years (since 2008’s Rubbed Out). It’s titled Await Barbarians and will be released via Domino Records on June 10.

“Elvis Has Left The Building” is the first track that Taylor has previewed off the album, and it’s a lovely affair. An intimate ballad of sorts, Taylor lets hit voice do the work over some light piano chords with some minor electronic effects and hi-hat taps.

Give it a try below.
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Win Win – Interleave (Feat. Alexis Taylor)

By Will Oliver, February 2nd 2011

Win Win is the duo of producers XXXchange, and Devlin. Their self titled debut album comes out on February 15th via Vice Records. They recently premiered a song called “Interleave” on Pitchfork’s Forkcast. It features guest vocals from Hot Chips’ Alexis Taylor, whos vocals are a perfect fit for the spaced out electro-ballad. This is a very chill tune

Download it below:

[mp3]: Win Win – Interleave (Feat. Alexis Taylor)

Simian Mobile Disco make some of the most destructive beats (by that I mean catchy and dance ready) in the music scene today. They are set to release their new album Temporary Pleasure soon, and two new tracks are alive and kicking on the internetzzz. I already showed you the hook filled “Audacity Of Huge (Feat. Chris Keating)” and now I got two more tracks. Both of them feature some pretty big names. We got “Bad Blood” which features Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip, and “Cruel Intentions” featuring Beth Ditto from The Gossip.

“Bad Blood” non-surprisingly comes off as a Hot Chip song. Not like that is a bad thing. While “Cruel Intentions” works well with Beth Ditto, making it a nice female vocalized dance anthem.

Simian Mobile Disco’s picks for featured singers have been spot on so far. Temporary Pleasure doesn’t look like it will be too temporary. Not with beats like these:

[mp3] : Simian Mobile Disco – Bad Blood (Feat. Alexis Taylor)

[mp3] : Simian Mobile Disco – Cruel Intentions (Feat. Beth Ditto)

Favorite Live Photos of 2014

By Will Oliver, February 5th 2015

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(Foals at Terminal 5)

There was no shortage of great shows to be found in 2014. You can find the best 50 that I saw in 2014 right here. Throughout the year, we took thousands upon thousands of photos, documenting every moment of these unforgettable shows. We put in a lot of work trying to capture the essence of these performances, and I wanted to share these photos with you in one giant collection.

These are not only photos that I took, but also photos taken by our great team of contributing photographers. They’re posted in chronological order, as there was simply no other right way to go about ordering the photos. Below each photo, is the link to the original post, as well as the photographer credit (if it’s other than myself).

So with that said, sit back, and enjoy our favorite live concert photos that we took in 2014. You can also find the gallery posted over at our facebook page. There’s probably one too many photos posted here, but we probably saw way too many shows.
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Preview: Modern Sky Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, September 26th 2014

Modern Sky Festival 2014

Next weekend the inaugural Modern Sky Festival will take over Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield. The festival, which originated in China, features a diverse lineup that includes Cat Power, Stars, Liars, The Blood Brothers, Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor (featuring Jamie Lidell, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Dead Prez, Money Mark, Peaking Lights, The Mahotella Queens, Sinkane, and more), The Both, as well as some of the biggest names in the Chinese music scene, such as Deserts Zhang Xuan, Re-TROS, and Queen Sea Big Shark.

This will be one of the more intimate festival’s that you will find, and quite a eclectic lineup. If seeing Cat Power isn’t enough, then there’s always the reunited Blood Brothers, who will surely bring the house down. But it’s the Chinese acts that have me curious, as it will bring the acts and the music to a new set of ears who may not have discovered it otherwise.

Tickets for the festival are still on sale, but don’t sleep on it too long, as they’re more than likely to sell out.
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Fainting By Numbers – A Stone In The Ground

By Will Oliver, February 21st 2013 — with 1 comment

Fainting By Numbers

Fainting By Numbers is the new side project of Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor and German techno producer Justus Köhncke. They have unvealed their first single, lovely serven-minute synth ballad titled “A Stone In The Ground.” The single will features a cover of John Lennon’s “Watching The Wheels.”

Moshi Moshi will release the single on April 15.

Hot Chip – Highline Ballroom (NYC, Feb 5th)

By Will Oliver, February 6th 2010 — with 3 comments

Last night I went down to Highline Ballroom with three friends and saw the wonderful Hot Chip rock the venue for all the fans who waited for hours in the brutal cold for their free Myspace Secret Show. They played a full set with a healthy mix of songs from their latest album One Life Stand, along with fan favorites from The Warning and Made In The Dark. I have better photos to share with you but left my cord in my dorm. I will upload them and make a separate post on Monday.

Free Energy opened up the show, and blew me out of the water. I expected good things from them after all the good press that they have been receiving. Yet, they managed to be miles ahead of my expectations putting on a fantastic show. Their songs are guitar based and full of energy. Their sound is full of magnificent guitar playing and a general band tightness that is hard to find in such a young band. They were great with the crowd, bringing everyone to move their feet. Paul Sprangers, the bands lead singer, has a great voice that perfectly suites the bands throwback sound. He has a lot of energy that helps fuel a band that needs no help with firy guitars and a upbeat rhythm section. I have not been this impressed by an opening band in a long, long, time. Free Energy are indeed the real deal. My excitement for their debut album, Stuck On Nothing, has just gone through the roof. They are totally one to watch in 2010!!!

Hot Chip came out with the perfect opener with “Thieves In The Night”. The crowd had no problem signing and dancing to Hot Chip’s clean beats. I was impressed about how well the band incorporated both rock and dance elements to their live sets. Alexis Taylor has a great voice live, and brings plenty of funky dance moves to his songs. The band plays classic songs like “Boy From School” a little different than you are used to, but it all makes sense live. The obvious standout was “Ready for The Floor” and this was not surprising at all. The song came to live on its own live, and fueled the band to give an epic performance. Al Doyle, the bands guitarist (he’s also in LCD Soundsystem) said it was weird not ending the set with that. After that they went into their current single “One Life Stand” and hit that out of the park as well. Hot Chip didn’t slow down at all playing all of their dance songs, leaving no room for their slower “ballads”.

They came back for a 3 song encore that allowed them to play two more songs from the new album, one of which was “Slush” which is one of their slower songs on One Life Stand. However, it played perfectly fine as a transition to the epic finish that the band gave to one of my favorite Hot Chip songs “Hold On”.

The show was a lot of fun, and Hot Chip gave it their all. This was really nice of them considering the show was free. I had a lot of fun, and was impressed with Hot Chip’s skill at live performances. They are a very good band live, and I would totally pay to see them again!!!

Setlist: (photo of the actual set that I managed to snag, is also posted below – They actually played Hold On, but didn’t put it on the setlist. I forgot where it was exactly, but I think it was the 2nd to last song!)

Thieves In The Night
Hand Me Down Your Love
And I Was A Boy From School
One Pure Thought
Alley Cats
Ready For The Floor
One Life Stand
Over & Over
We Have Love
Hold On

———–
Encore:

I Feel Better
Hold On
Slush
Take It In





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