Chairlift at the Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA, September 16th, 2009 | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Chairlift at the Troubadour, West Hollywood, CA, September 17th, 2009

Sep 18, 2009 Bookmark and Share

“My dying breath will be spent complaining about the brevity of a band’s set.”  I’ve said this so many times, that trotting out this complaint yet again may simply come off as white noise. But seriously Chairlift—let’s talk about your show at the Troubadour. Eight songs and no encore? You’re so much better than that! And I ‘aint too proud to beg.

Despite a mini-set plagued with sound issues, and an attendance that was definitely closer to half empty than half full, the Brooklyn trio’s show still featured the combination of likeability and dynamic presence that made their 2008 debut Does You Inspire You such an unexpected treat. (An unexpected treat that—in its re-released form—contains five more tracks than their set did. Just sayin’.) Trio fleshed out with the help of an additional member—Animal Collective collaborator John Maus—the band transformed iPod commercial staple “Bruises” into a beautiful cacophony; preformed electronica’s answer to the Spaghetti Western, “Earwig Town;” and proved during “Territory” that the answer to “Do we need more cow bell?” is always an emphatic “Yes!”

While Chairlift may have built this house on synth, it quickly becomes clear to even the most casual listener that lead woman Caroline Polachek’s voice really steals the show. A fantastically malleable instrument, it’s at times the space-aged incarnation of Brigitte Bardot (“Le Flying Saucer Hat”), a whispery ghost (“Territory”), or the winsome girl-next-door (“Bruises”). Emerging from the indie music scene like the bastard child of Tears for Fears and Enya, it’s as difficult to imagine the band without Polachek, as it is to imagine 1980s films without a synch-filled soundtrack. Given that the trio begun their existence writing scores for haunted houses, their distinct creep-meets-cute recipe holds up incredibly well.

Just give us a bit more next time! Please?


1. Garbage
2. Dixie Gypsy
3. Le Flying Saucer Hat
4. Evident Utensil
5. Territory
6. Planet Health
7. Earwig Town
8. Bruises



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