Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor is far more than a genre-melting electronic lothario. On his second solo effort, “Piano,” the British musician takes a break from wreaking dance floor havoc to deliver an LP that features a scaled down Taylor singing over the heart-swelling instrumentals. The result is an album that is full of clear-eyed, cathartic intensity that revels in unhinged musicality.
“I’m not really sure whether or not I could have that impact on — I just knew that [making the album] was emotional for me,” Taylor explains. “It’s really tricky subject matter and everyone will have a different response to it. Some people don’t feel anything at all, others feel a lot. But I want 'Piano' to have a deep impact.”
From the blistery opener “I’m Ready” to the raw emotion of “In The Light of The Room,” “Piano," out June 10 from Moshi Moshi, is Taylor’s most vulnerable project to date. However, he doesn’t seem too concerned with the feedback he’ll receive from loyal Hot Chip listeners.
“I don’t feel like I’m expecting a different response from fans because 'Piano' is barer and stripped back. I’m nervous of any record I make, not more so of this one," Taylor explains. "There’s not more of me on display—I just made a record that’s more revealing of the self. That’s what I tend to do and “Piano” is a natural progression of where I’ve been.”
Although Taylor jumped into the making of “Piano” with equal amounts of enthusiasm that he has for all of his records with Hot Chip, he is able to acknowledge the difference in creative output. “We’ve been a collaboration for years, so the emotional input into the music is going to be different since it’s a shared project. We’re a dance music synth based pop group, but the songs I write and the instruments I play…I am still that person even though Hot Chip isn’t just me,” Taylor reveals.
“I also don’t get much feedback from the band on my solo material because it’s hard to share this thing you’ve chosen to do without them in a way. I wasn’t sure if they wanted to hear it.” Regardless of Taylor’s artistic inclinations, he remains adamant about wanting to produce music that’s powerful. “I don’t always want to do something radically different in sound. With “Piano,” I wanted purer sounds and more importantly: sonic clarity.”