The 2000s revival of '80s synthpop might officially be dead. Nowhere is this more evident than its rejection in modern indie-pop artists. Grimes forgoes it on Art Angels, and now indie-darlings Chairlift have done the same with Moth. And, boy, does it work. In place of chintzy synths and layered electrics are a kooky assortment of instruments, a slight R&B slink and penchant for some ethereal melodies.
Moth is a flirtatious and fun-loving record. The songs bounce and spring-along with hooky arrangements and bassy inclinations. But, like Something, the duo still concerns themselves with endings and destructions. That's most emblematic through the choice of a "moth" as both title and monogram.
In the title track, it's linked to Polachek's inevitable attachment to a dubious man; a theme carried over from the slinky ballad "Crying on the Train." On "Romeo," it's a bit more light-hearted. "Ch-Ching" switches up the romance theme to one concerned with random luck and professional pursuit. The funk-heavy "Show U Off" is another standout, matching "Polymorphing" in its glitchiness and catchiness.
Moth isn't a monolithic record. It has no pretense. Maybe that's what makes it so enjoyable. It's an unrestrained record, one freed of expectations giving the duo a breadth of territory to explore. They take full advantage of this, implementing horns, strings, synths, bass, programmers and more for a record that's multi-layered, complex, playful and catchy.