Alexis Taylor steps away from the pop star spotlight of Hot Chip (or indeed the improv lamplight of About Group) for a subtle solo album in a shaded corner. Piano was recorded by Alexis alone, with just his voice and a grand piano, both untreated by effects. New songs and reimagined old ones alike. What a lovely, simple record. On Moshi Moshi.
CD £8.99 MOSHICD71
CD on Moshi Moshi.
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Vinyl LP £17.99 MOSHILP71
LP on Moshi Moshi.
Limited Vinyl LP £13.99 MOSHILP71X
LP on Moshi Moshi. Includes limited indies only one-sided 6" single "Untitled bonus track".
Alexis Taylor must be doing something right. His band Hot Chip do very well for themselves despite them being largely appalling. He’s collaborated with Charles Hayward and Green Gartside and has interviewed David Byrne. He now gets to do kind of what he likes with his career and when he came up with the idea of making a solo record of just him and his piano not one person said ‘no’.
It must be generally felt that there’s room in the world for this, that people will be interested. Therefore we are invited into a private recital of Taylor singing hits from his past and performing a few of his favourite covers. Now if you can’t get on with Taylor’s weedy voice then please look away now but if, like others you enjoy its white boy soul inflections then you may enjoy this. It’s a slow moving, never ending dirge of Taylor tinkling away at his piano and singing softly to himself. To be fair he treats the material with respect, achieving the almost impossible by making Hot Chip’s ’So Much Further to Go’ sound like a good song and never over enunciates, at least it is all kept simple, the songs stripped back of…well everything.
But you are going to have to be a huge Taylor fan to get through this and anyone who makes it to the end, I admire your stamina.
1/10 JJSA Customer review, 16th July 2016
Ladies and gentlemen, this record leaves us with a choice. Where do we draw the line? We live in dark political times. Bad things often arrive in fancy dress worn by grotesques and monsters. They do not kick down the door; they shake your hand, weedling their way into your consciousness before you know what has happened.
But what is this to do with the new record by Alexis Taylor? Everything.
If one sleeps at the wheel, bad things thrive, and this record stands us perilously on the edge of that precipice. The tinkling of the ivories brings us ever closer to a new, unthinkable horror, an appearance of Alexis Taylor playing piano on Jools Holland. Imagine this - two tiny weaklings together, smugly teasing melodies from a grand piano. One an indie chancer, the other…an indie chancer with a BBC television series. Buy this record and you make the possibility of this horror show become something an already bruised and jaded British public may one day have to endure. Picture the scene, two little men, on their booster seats, dueting together as we spin, spin, spin into a post-brexit conservative hell storm.
Buying this record will mean that YOU are just that little bit responsible for the increased likelihood of Jools Holland doing his ‘honky tonk’ piano thing all over dear Alexis’s noodling.
Or maybe you have a plan? Perhaps you WANT them to get together so you can sneak up behind them live on air and slam the piano lid down on their fucking fingers. If that’s your plan, then this record is a 10/10.
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