In my mind, synth pop is synonymous to; the 80’s, raves, dancing, and Hot Chip. This week the band dropped their 7th studio album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy, and I was fully prepared to soak in their feel good sounds. The English synth pop group has been making records since the early 2000’s- and left fans yearning for their next album since 2015. The band handles all the vocals and production, crafting a cohesive sensory experience; bringing the listener along through a night at the club, tossing back drinks, and maybe even a slow dance.
The album opens slow, until the first beat drops, then the pulsating bassline brings in more and more sound as the song opens up. The pace of the album has begun.
‘Spell’ brings more of a house vibe and the bath full of ecstasy is starting to heat up. The bassline pounds until the synths come back in for the hook, then they take us back into the dark underground. A song that makes you feel like you’re walking into the opening scene of Blade.
The title track slows things down, bringing in auto tune and a softer melody for a slow dance of a song.
‘Echo’ gets the energy pumping again, each track plays so well off the other. It feels much more like a live set than an album. All your missing is a dark room with big lasers. At only 9 songs, you’d think it’s short, but the album sits at 48 minutes. Each song is long, and layered heavily. They bring sounds in and out and take you on a journey.
‘Hungry Child’, the first single, is the perfect example of this. It takes nearly 2 minutes before the song even opens up past the echoed vocals, but when it finally drops it releases like a breath we’ve all been holding in, and everything flows away. One of my favorite tracks, and the best representation of the record as a whole.
The mood continues on a brighter note into ‘Positive’ and ‘Why Does My Mind’. Everything starts to wind down, as the energy drops lower, smoother. As the party dies and it’s time to find the one you want to go home with. ‘No God’ is a fantastic closer track, it is the goodbye as you drive home on a dark highway.
Hot Chip has been making great music for a long time, and in that way this album is no different. As you listen you’ll be brought up and down as the carousel of the album spins. After a long soak in this bath, you’ll leave totally refreshed.
Favorite Tracks: Echo, Hungry Child, Spell