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HARD FEELINGS

HARD FEELINGS

Domino

Dec 23, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Twitter is the new back pages of the defunct Melody Maker and no-longer-in-print New Musical Express, where many a British group were formed through the musician-looking-for-other-musicians classifieds. Twitter is where Joe Goddard of Hot Chip found the golden-throated Amy Douglas, who is channeling the wonderful tones of Alison Moyet in the two’s debut album, the eponymously titled HARD FEELINGS.

Goddard’s non-Hot Chip music output is dancefloor-oriented, see The 2 Bears, or his awesome 2017 solo album, Electric Lines. HARD FEELINGS follows that same path and Douglas is a perfect partner. She boasts an impressive list of collaborations with the likes of Juan MacLean, Treasure Fingers, Luke Solomon, The Crooked Man, Horse Meat Disco, and another queen of the dance, Roisin Murphy.

“The past is to be pillaged,” should be Goddard’s slogan as that’s where his ideas come from, maintaining the original draw of sounds from a cross-section of ’90s dance sounds, freshened for a modern-day dancefloor. Douglas is right in step with him, her inherent understanding of the divas of the time and her ability to emulate their irresistible style, while forging her own singular path makes HARD FEELINGS a well-balanced project.

House and disco are the main threads that run through the eight songs on the brief but bold HARD FEELINGS, which is arranged like a tight DJ set. These are fleshed out with synth-pop sensibility courtesy of familiar and much-loved drum patterns. The songs are, in essence, those of heartbreak, see “About Us,” but with the pain couched by perfectly placed beats and percolating rhythms. It’s like if Adele was doing underground house music.

“Take You Down” harks back to those moments when you’re singing at the top of your lungs on the dancefloor with your friends, feeling every emotion of the words. “Holding on Too Long” is dark and mesmerizing, not letting go, Italian house piano relentless, until it has you begging for the relief of the breakdown. The closer “Sister Infinity” pushes everything to the next level, just like a peak song, end-of-the-night tune should.
HARD FEELINGS is not a throwback as much as it is the best kind of nostalgia not bogged down in the past, but celebrating what was great about it with a clear vision of the future. These songs make you realize how much you miss this kind of thing, and how you should pile your handbags on the dancefloor, and do that ages-old ritualistic dance around them. (www.hardfeelings.net)

Author rating: 8/10

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