The multifaceted English band Hot Chip released their eighth studio album Freakout/Release on August 19th. The Grammy-nominated band dabbles in genres including, but not limited to, dance/electronic, indie rock, synth pop and house music. The eleven-track album is met with a crisis but Hot Chip eventually finds hope and release. The somber lyrics paired with electro-funk make for a unique listening experience.
Undoubtedly, the first track on Freakout/Release titled “Down” encapsulates Hot Chip’s infectious energy. The disco funk beat has fun lyrics about the bandmates special connection. Joe Goddard sings about enjoying the bandmates company and how making music doesn’t feel like work. “But if this is working, it makes my play null and void/Until I met you, I never worked for one day.”
On the other hand, Freakout/Release delves into personal struggles over the past few years. For example, the fourth track of the album “Broken” recounts a feeling of hopelessness. Hot Chip describes an experience of being unable to express their feelings into words. The chorus finds them questioning, “Am I just broken?” Hot Chip reaches a crossroads where they don’t know if recovery is possible. They ponder how others can help them if they are incapable of communicating their thoughts and emotions.
The Title Track “Freakout/Release”
Similarly, the title track “Freakout/Release” has Hot Chip left puzzled, but in this time regarding their relationship to music. Alexis Taylor sings “Music used to be escape/Now I can’t escape it” over a distorted robotic disco beat. The band feels confined by music and can no longer use it as a source of freedom and serenity. Alexis Taylor has doubts about music, “Music used to be in love/Now people leave it or take it.” The bandmates recognize how the appreciation and care for music has shifted. Time and thought was put into music. They channel their worries and doubts and find liberation by releasing them. The chaotic, loud track metaphorically is a scream. The song serves purpose in releasing universal feelings of frustration and confinement.
“Out Of My Depth”
Finally, the meaning of the last track of Freakout/Release is about finding the motivation to continue at your lowest points. Alexis Taylor tells himself to focus on the light instead of dwelling, and finding comfort in the darkness.
“When I’m in my darkest place
I must be careful not to dwell there
When I’m headed for the ditch
I must be careful not to sleep there”
Taylor want to prosper and conquer his negative feelings and thoughts. Even when the other side is unforeseeable, he must reach until the light is visible.