There's a good reason why the act of tagging a band with multiple genre titles (e.g., neo-soul-funk-smoothed-out R&B hiphop jazzsters) is cliché and the easy way out. Cast a wide enough net with the lazy adjectives and you'll surely capture any band's sound. That in mind, few acts—Sly & the Family Stone being the prime example—are able to appeal to so many different genres that even an insatiable amount of adjectives could accurately describe them. England's Hot Chip are now the latest members of this exclusive club. An electronic act on the surface, Hot Chip pushes dance music into realms never before touched, and does so by wearing every single musical influence on their sleeves.
While onstage, Hot Chip resemble a modern-day Kraftwerk (AKA four dudes behind synths), but the band is headed in the complete opposite direction of their Kraut forefathers, with a longing to make electronics human. Much like Jamie Lidell, Hot Chip pumps soul and life into a style of music that has typically been associated with cold, lifeless robots. Or even worse—Germans with keyboards.
While some of their contemporaries attempt to sex up the synths, Hot Chip simply catalog every album they've listened to since birth and mold it into one solid and new sound, textbook in manner but otherworldly in delivery.
Yes, their new record The Warning is a dance record, but only on the surface. Hot Chip strives to be a band with superior songwriting ability and depth, not content with simply producing the next dancefloor burner sure to turn the party out. If you pay close enough attention, it's all there: rock, pop, soul, funk, hiphop, electro, disco, jazz, etc. Hot Chip truly have embraced music from the standpoint of fans and critics, and in turn, responded with a non-derivative sound that reflects the best of what most genres have to offer.