Chairlift - Moth
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2016 Ratings: #357 / 905
User Score
Based on 319 ratings
2016 Ratings: #354
Liked by 4 people
January 22, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Columbia / Label
Synthpop, Indie Pop / Genres
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Entertainment Weekly

The Brooklyn-based duo ... continue to make experimental-leaning synth-pop that serves as a showcase for Polachek’s lithe and operatic pipes—one of the most unique in pop today.

Loud and Quiet
Like last years’ criminally ignored Carly Rae Jepsen album, ‘Moth’ is a modern pop gem – seductive, nuanced, sophisticated and, perhaps most importantly, continued progress.
The Line of Best Fit
It’s Chairlift at their most vulnerable, but also at their most jubilant, documenting their burning passions with their most confident sound to date. Most importantly, it’s Chairlift at their most fun.
Pretty Much Amazing

Moth is a breezy, immensely enjoyable pop record that provides just the amount of pep that you’ll need to make it through the winter. It makes a very upbeat soundtrack to cleaning the snow off your car.


With Moths, Chairlift make a strong claim to being one of pop music's best songwriting teams, with the production and vocal chops to bring their compositions fully and vibrantly to life.

The Guardian
Their new album suggests a band reborn, flitting between R&B, synthpop, funk-bass-fuelled soul and even breakbeat.
Even if said listener is inundated with shiny, R&B-based pop, as is anyone who has access to a radio or the Internet in 2016, there's something about the way Chairlift operate that helps them to stand out just enough to truly shine.

The most impressive thing about Moth is the way it manages to wrap a more compact frame around Chairlift’s spiraling colors without dulling the final product.


Moth takes a formula that Chairlift have been working on since their 2008 debut and manages to perfect it: a pop album that challenges at some corners and delivers pure satisfaction at others.

The 405

As a collection Moth is both fascinating and fun, demonstrative of what can be achieved when you focus on substance over style.

No Ripcord

The result of Chairlift dabbling in the mainstream pop archetype is the duo’s best and most cohesive album to date.


The songs on Moth feel related and extroverted, pulled together by a common purpose. They have a charming asymmetry, they drift in sometimes oblique and irregular patterns. This is pop that wants to show you what it’s made of.

Consequence of Sound

While Chairlift refine their approach on Moth, they don’t veer wildly from what listeners have come to expect.

Drowned in Sound

Far from merely repeating a formula, Moth, their ‘New York record’, sounds like they’re determined to make ‘easy’ surprising again.

Rolling Stone
This is a record where love, music and love for music come together beautifully.

Polachek and Wimberly seem to relish their good luck, layering hooks and beats with a kooky exuberance that was missing last time out.

Northern Transmissions

Paring down the lineup and exploring the greater pop world have led the duo towards the more straightforward presentation of Moth, and for the better.

They may have left behind their haunted house roots, which might rub some people off the wrong way, but Chairlift have found themselves creating something far more barmy, bold and exhilarating than ever before.

On Moth, Chairlift for the most part lack the swaggering confidence of contemporaries like Santigold, or the idiosyncratic yet accessible song writing of Dirty Projectors. It’s by no means a bad album, but at this stage Chairlift are strictly second division.


The album is polished, poppy fun. Polachek and Patrick Wimberly have fallen into step in the wake of founding member Aaron Pfenning, and any songwriting kinks still present on Something have largely been ironed out on Moth.

NOW Magazine

When Chairlift do experiment ... the pacing feels uneven. Like many pop acts' full-lengths, this is an album of singles.

Don't call it "indie pop." It's gentle funk, it's weird R&B, it's gritty synthpop; it's pop through and through. Caroline Polachek ties it all together with her wildly dexterous voice that cartwheels through all these moods and tones with sparklers in her hands--every impressive vocal turn feels larger than life thanks to the production work of Patrick Wimberly. Everything about this album dazzles these stories of modern romance, elevating the feelings to wildly high places and ... read more
This is way better than Pang you fools
Average album. Polachek is trying to upgrade this record as much as she can, but it's tough call. I expected good indie pop and it's a good-ish and pop-ish too. For one or two times listening in the background. Nothing else.
Chairlift aren't the type to rest on their laurels, and for that they should be commended. Still, if not for it's strong singles this album wouldn't be as flashy in texture.

Essential Tracks - Polymorphing // Ch-Ching // Moth to the Flame // Show U Off
produced well, no interesting tunes, by the numbers indie dance pop.
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Track List

  1. Look Up
  2. Polymorphing
  3. Romeo
  4. Ch-Ching
  5. Crying in Public
  6. Ottawa to Osaka
  7. Moth to the Flame
  8. Show U Off
  9. Unfinished Business
  10. No Such Thing as Illusion
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Added on: October 20, 2015