NPR logo


  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Chairlift: 'Bruises'

Chairlift: 'Bruises'


  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brooklyn-based trio Chairlift. hide caption

toggle caption

Note: This week we're featuring some of the bands performing at this year's South by Southwest music festival. This artist was originally featured in November, 2008.

Brooklyn-based electro-pop trio Chairlift may not seem familiar to you at first, but no doubt you've heard its ridiculously catchy single, "Bruises," while flipping through TV channels. The song recently earned a coveted spot in a commercial promoting a brightly colored line of iPod Nanos, with the memorable line "I tried to do handstands for you." "Bruises" is the perfect song for the ad: between its boy-girl duet, keyboard swells, drum machine beats and sweetly innocent lyrics, it's pretty colorful and bright itself. It's also one of the highlights of Chairlift's debut album, Does You Inspire You.

Released earlier this year, Does You Inspire You begins with the anti-pollution track, "Garbage." It's a chilled-out, seductive song, despite a larger, more critical topic that has singer Caroline Polachek crooning, "So much garbage will never decay / And all your garbage will outlive you one day." The lyrics on "Garbage" get a little preachy by the end, and it's not the only instance on Does You Inspire You where lyrics blemish an otherwise decent song. It happens again on "Planet Health" ("I was trained in diversity / In the garden of puberty") and the single "Evident Utensil" ("The most evident utensil / Is none other than a pencil"), both of which owe a whole lot to cheesy 1980's synth-pop.

Still, for every hiccup on Does You Inspire You, there's a track or two that show off Chairlift's potential. "Territory" and "Make Your Mind Up" are deliciously alluring and a perfect match for Polachek's sexy, warbling vocals, while "Don't Give a Damn" has a heartfelt, country twang to it that is downright gorgeous. Moments like these, where Chairlift chooses to be earnest rather than attempt to be clever, is where the trio really strikes gold.

Download this song in the Second Stage podcast.

Yesterday's Second Stage artist.

Email host Robin Hilton.

Purchase Featured Music

Buy Featured Music

Does You Inspire You

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?