When Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly of electronic pop group Chairlift began writing music for their stunning third album Moth, they both agreed New York would be at the heart of it. Throughout the record, references to their home-base are both overt and subtle: the balladic "Crying In Public" lyrically thrusts listeners into the emotionally charged space of a subway car while tracks like "Show U Off" and "Ch-Ching" evoke the city's combustible energy through exquisitely vivid and glossy production.
If Moth was Chairlift's love letter, on Sunday, New York made it overwhelmingly clear that the feeling was mutual. Tickets for the band's back-to-back shows at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (the fourteenth stop on their North American tour) sold out within minutes and fans were lined down North 6th Street hours before the doors even opened.
"It's been our best tour yet and I feel like a lot of that has been because of the excitement from the fans," says Wimberly, 32. "Our previous records were 'musicians' records' for lack of a better term," adds Polachek, 30. "This album is narrative and personal, so people are bringing that energy with them."
Paper spent the day backstage with the group as they prepared for both epic homecoming shows.
Photos by Mike Everett
"[My sister] Jen Monroe and performance artist Sarah Kinlaw are joining us onstage tonight. They're wearing custom Amorir 'Crying In Public' glasses designed by Kerin Rose Gold."
"Lots of anticipation being back in New York after being on the road for a month. We've played this room a couple of times before but this is the most excited we've been for it," says Polachek who wrote and produced "No Angel" for Beyonce's 2013 album and has also released solo work under the moniker Ramona Lisa.