Chairlift was a band formed in 2005 by two University of Colorado students with the initial aim to create haunted house music. The two students were Aaron Pfenning and Caroline Polachek, the latter who made quite a name for herself solo. But before that happened, in 2006, along with a bassist by the name of Kyle McCabe, they released an EP called Daylight Savings. Later that same year, the two members (one of them who was still in college) moved to Brooklynn. One year later, they signed to a records company, and added their new friend Patrick Wimberly as a third member.
In 2008, they released their first full-length album Does You Inspire You. The album received OK reviews, and was a commercial failure, but the love song "Bruises" became trending, even playing in the background of an Apple commercial. The music video for Evident Utensil was also nominated for an MTV award. Despite the technical failure of Does You Inspire You, in 2009, the band ended their contract with Kanine Records, and was able to sign to the major Columbia Records. They also opened for some popular bands like MGMT or The Killers.
Aaron left the band one year later. The remaining duo was silent for some time, but then they released their second album, by the name of Something (yes, that is the name of the album) in 2012 to moderate success (it debuted on the Billboard 200, albeit on the rear end). This one got much more praise from critics, and surprise: even Beyoncé liked it, so much so, that they would later work with her (and her sister, Solange). As it became popular in Japan also, the band released a Japanese version of I Belong In Your Arms.For the next four years, the band didnt really do much. Caroline went solo for some time, and released an EP in 2013, and in 2014 an album called Arcadia under the alias of Ramona Lisa.
The band made a comeback in 2016, with the more poppier and mainstream album Moth. This would be their last album to date: the duo dispersed in 2016, holding a farewell tour in 2017.
Afterwards, Caroline released an instrumental album under the alias of CEP, and in 2019 made her solo debut under her real name. This earned her much critical acclaim and success: as of 2022, she had about two million monthly listeners on Spotify constantly. She even worked with some well-known names like Charli XCX, Flume, and oh, she also appeared on the soundtrack to Minions: Rise of Gru.
The list of Chairlifts discography:
- Does You Inspire You (2008)
- Something (2012)
- Moth (2016)
Tropes applicable to Chairlifts members, and its music:
- Album Title Drop: Quite easy to accomplish with Something. The word appears on the song I Belong in Your Arms
- Artistic License Biology: In the Crying in Public video, Carolines tears freeze to her face in drop form and wont fall down, which, even if we consider the New York weather, isnt very possible.
- Background Music: It was the original aim to play background music in haunted houses.
- Déjà Vu: "Met Before" is about seemingly or already having met someone.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The music videos to Polymorphing and Crying in Public in some segments are this.
- Dream Pop: Some songs from Does You Inspire You and Something are of this genre.
- Driving Song: Sidewalk Safari is about fantasizing of running over people on the sidewalk with a car, of course.
- Haunted House: They originally wanted to make music that would fit in a haunted house. The dreampop/eerie feel of their first two albums show this.
- Homage: The "Amanaemonesia" music video is an homage to music videos from the The '80s.
- Genre Throwback: Moth is an homage to Synth-Pop works of earlier decades.
- Ghost Song: Ghost Tonight, from Something is from the perspective of a purported ghost. Although, its probably just someone trying to get noticed by their crush.
- Longest Song Goes Last: No Such Thing as Illusion is the longest track off Moth. Its also the closing track.
- Love Nostalgia Song: Bruises, most prominently.
- Male Band, Female Singer: Double Subverted. For Does You Inspire You, Aaron added some vocals, but then he left, and Patrick never really sang, but by then Chairlift was also a duo.
- Scatting: In "Met Before"Ba-da-da-ba-ba-da.
- Spin the Bottle: A group of young adults are playing this in the music video to Bruises.
- Stage Names: Caroline Polachek released an album under the name of Ramona Lisa, while she was still a member of Chairlift.
- Surreal Music Video: In the music video to Polymorphing Caroline poses with a bunch of one-meter long baguettes, bathes in sunglasses, and ties a rope around herself and dances, while Patrick irons a waffle.
- Synth-Pop: Most of their music can be called as such, but the songs from Moth are clear examples.