An Ethereal Chase Through Chinatown in Chairlift’s “Romeo”

by Anastasia K Zimitravich

Opening with a “cha-ching” soundbyte, Chairlift’s newest single release “Romeo” continues the tease where “Cha-Ching” left off in October. The synthpop duo, Caroline Polacheck on keyboard and Patrick Wimberly on all string-related instruments, move away from reprocessed 80s synthpop arpeggios, a predominant theme on former albums “Something” and “Does This Inspire You,” for favor beat-driven sampling. Thus far a reimagining of new jack swing hooks, 90s techno beats and vocals channeling Dido’s 2003 hit, “White Flag,” Chairlift’s “Moth” predicts to be a danceable contribution to the 2016 alternative pop sphere.

Their newest album, “Moth,” anticipated for release this January 2016, explores Polacheck’s tancity for drum programming that lends itself to 90s hip-hop and RnB in rhythm and composition. Not surprisingly, seeing as Polacheck has worked with both Beyonce and Das Racist on former collaborations. Compared to past singles like “Amanamaemonesia” or “Bruises,” sawtooth synth chords are replaced with early 2000s buzzes and whistles. Synth overtures take backseat to intense snare staccato, coinciding with the intensity of Polacheck’s ambling through Chinatown, searching for someone in the chaos and having someone simultaneously searching for her. Donning a black bob and transparent raincoat, the video condenses the works of 90s Chinese director, Wong Kar-Wai, utilizing a slow-shutter speed to hasten the game of the chase.

“If I win, you’re done with. But if you win, you win my heart. Isn’t that what you want?”

Speaking from the perspective of a modern Greek Atalanta, a mythological figure whose virginity was the prize of her father’s footrace in which she was the only rival competitor to her suitors, Palocheck loses sight of her “Romeo” but is out-raced by another in the end. After an unwitting defeat, Palocheck and Wimberly ride off on a Japanese 3-wheeler into the depths of Chinatown, unburdening herself of the chase for her unrequited love.

Image via “Romeo.”

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