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Chairlift (band)

Chairlift performing at Treefort Music Fest, 2016.jpg
Chairlift performing at Treefort Music Fest, March 2016
Background information
OriginBoulder, Colorado, United States
Years active2005–2017
LabelsKanine, Terrible, Columbia
Past membersCaroline Polachek
Patrick Wimberly
Aaron Pfenning

Chairlift was an American synth-pop band. Caroline Polachek and Aaron Pfenning formed Chairlift in 2005 while living in Boulder, Colorado, and Patrick Wimberly joined them when they moved to Brooklyn in 2007. In 2008, Chairlift released their debut album Does You Inspire You. Pfenning left the band in 2010, and as a duo, Polachek and Wimberly released two more albums: 2012's Something and 2016's Moth before announcing the end of Chairlift in December 2016.


Chairlift formed initially as a project between Aaron Pfenning and Caroline Polachek at the University of Colorado in October 2005. The group intended to make background music for haunted houses.[1] Along with bassist Kyle McCabe, Chairlift recorded the beginning of Daylight Savings EP at New Monkey Studio in Los Angeles, California in April 2006. Chairlift relocated to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in August 2006 and signed to Kanine Records in June 2007. Patrick Wimberly joined the group in early 2007. After writing and recording while Polachek was still in college,[2] Chairlift released their first full-length album, Does You Inspire You, in 2008. Their song "Bruises" was featured in the 2008 Apple commercial that launched the fourth-generation iPod Nano.[3] The single "Evident Utensil" was nominated for an award in the "Breakthrough Video" category at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.[4] The album was rereleased by Columbia Records on April 21, 2009, after the band signed with the major label. The re-release included two additional tracks not on the original release and a longer version of "Make Your Mind Up".[5] Chairlift went on their first international tour, opening for bands like Phoenix, The Killers, and MGMT.[6][7]

Pfenning left Chairlift in 2010 to pursue his solo career in Rewards.[8]

On September 7, 2011 they released the video to their single "Amanaemonesia" from their second album Something.[9] For their 2012 single "Met Before" Chairlift created an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure video that Buzzfeed awarded the number one spot on its "23 Best Music Videos of 2012" end-of-year round up.[10] Their sophomore album Something released via Columbia Records on January 24, 2012.[8] Something features production from Dan Carey and Alan Moulder.[11] After the record was released in Japan, Polachek co-directed a video for a Japanese version of "I Belong In Your Arms" with director/animator Eric Epstein.[12]

Through the time Polachek was finishing her solo record Arcadia, Chairlift continued working on their third record, Moth. Moth was released January 22, 2016 and featured 10 new songs, including the single "Ch-Ching".[13][14]

In December 2016, Chairlift announced that they would be breaking up, with a final tour in the spring of 2017.[15]

Collaborations and solo projects

Chairlift collaborated with Das Racist on the song "Fashion Party", the tenth song on Das Racist's 2010 mixtape, Sit Down, Man.

In 2011, Wimberly produced multiple songs in American rap group Das Racist's album Relax.[16]

In 2013, Wimberly and Polachek collaborated with Beyoncé on the song "No Angel" from the album Beyoncé.[17]

In 2014 Polachek announced that she would release a solo LP under the name Ramona Lisa. Titled Arcadia, the album was released in April 2014 on the labels Terrible in the US, Pannonica in Europe/Japan, and Mistletone in Australia/New Zealand.[18]


Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions






Does You Inspire You
Something 184 5 47 29 45 3 38 131 15
Moth 7 32


  • Daylight Savings EP – self-released, June 2007
  • Chairlift at 6:15Young Turks, October 2012


List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Bub.
"Evident Utensil" 2007 Does You Inspire You
"Bruises" 2008 50 72 80 63 1
"Amanaemonesia" 2011 Something
"Met Before" 2012
"I Belong in Your Arms"
"I Belong in Your Arms"
(Japanese version)
"Ch-Ching" 2015 Moth
"Crying in Public" 2016
"Ch-Ching (Redux)"
(featuring DRAM and Jimi Tents)
"Get Real" non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • Glasser – "Apply (Chairlift Remix)" (2012)
  • Phoenix – "Fences (Chairlift Remix)" (2012)
  • Indochine – "College Boy (Chairlift Remix)" (2013)


  1. ^ "Slant Magazine Music Review: Chairlift: Does You Inspire You". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  2. ^ "Chairlift Elevates Music on Something". Pop Matters. June 4, 2012.
  3. ^ Suzanne Baran (September 16, 2008). "Chairlift Gets A Boost From iPod Nano Ad". Yahoo! News. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  4. ^ "2009 MTV Video Music Awards: Breakthrough Video". MTV. Retrieved August 8, 2009.
  5. ^ "Chairlift Sign to Columbia, Re-Release Album With Bonus Tracks". Exclaim!. March 2, 2009.
  6. ^ "Tour HIstory 2007–2014". bandsintown.
  7. ^ "Rewards". Glasslands. September 11, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Alex Hudson (October 13, 2011). "Chairlift announce sophomore album". Exclaim!. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  9. ^ corbin (September 7, 2011). "Chairlift – "Amanaemonesia" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  10. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (December 6, 2012). "23 Best Music Videos of 2012". BuzzFeed. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  11. ^ Laura Studarus (October 13, 2011). "Chairlift Announce New Album, "Something"". Under the Radar. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  12. ^ Evan Minsker (August 30, 2012). "Watch the Video for the Japanese Version of Chairlift's "I Belong In Your Arms"". Pitchfork Media.
  13. ^ "Ramona Lisa". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "About A Girl: Caroline Polachek". Urban Outfitters. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  15. ^ Noah Yoo (December 16, 2016). "Chairlift Break Up". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  16. ^ "Das Racist Relax Details". Stereogum. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  17. ^ "How Chairlift's Caroline Polachek Landed a Track on 'Beyonce'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  18. ^ "Chairlift's Caroline Polachek announces solo LP Arcadia as Ramona Lisa, Shares "Arcadia" Video". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  19. ^ "Chairlift: Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  20. ^ "Chairlift: Chart History - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  21. ^ "Chairlift: Chart History - Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  22. ^ "Chairlift: Chart History - Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  23. ^ "" – Chairlift – Something". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Chairlift – Something" (in Dutch). Ultratop Flanders. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  25. ^ ""Chart Log UK: CHART: CLUK Update 4.02.2012 (wk4)". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  26. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  27. ^ "Chairlift – Chart history".
  28. ^ Bruises: []
  29. ^ "Chairlift – Chart history — Billboard Canadian Hot 100".
  30. ^ Bruises: []
  31. ^ "Billboard search".

External links