The art work for A Bathfull of Ecstasy looks not unlike something you would see in a shop selling joss sticks, crystals and a range of patchouli oil, the title spelled out in a font that looks suspiciously like it was stolen off a flyer for a local pilates class.
Maybe this is playful – after all it’s easy to look at Hot Chip as the sort of band that appeals most to people with a suburban outlook and a love of dance music to which dancing is far from mandatory. A little harsh, this generalisation ignores a resilience in the eyes of the public’s shifting tastes and their ability to create songs which reverse engineer a lack of hip into modern, sometimes momentous pop.
Co-produced by the late Phillipe Zdar and xx collaborator Rodaidh McDonald, A Bathfull of Ecstasy is a notable ante-up from 2015’s slightly muted Why Make Sense in terms of both gloss and craft; song writers Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor have spent some of the down time since working with Katy Perry and both Spell and Echo from those sessions are, in old money, smash hits.
Selling their souls? Not really. Because Hot Chip have never really had an image, there’s nothing to barter, hence they can place the emphasis on wherever they see fit, from the plaintive No God to the absolutely wicked banger Hungry Child. This is still a trip – but sandals are optional.
You can read the full review here.