By Allison Kamel
“Hey, I was doing just fine before I met you…”
These opening lyrics seem to be on every radio station this week, and yet, no one’s turning it off.
The Chainsmokers are number one on the charts again with their new song “Closer.” Who can say no to the EDM duo that brought us “Roses” and “Don’t Let Me Down?” Especially when they paired up with Halsey, who exploded last summer?
So who are the Chainsmokers, anyway?
Andrew “Drew” Taggart and Alex Pall make up the team that began in 2012. They’re the people behind the beat, but their voices are only heard in background vocals. “Closer” is the first time Taggart’s voice has been a main feature of the song.
The Chainsmokers spent 2012 and 2013 remixing Indie bands, until they released a song that didn’t really match their style. In December 2013, they released #SELFIE, a song that everyone made fun of, and yet couldn’t stop listening to. “#SELFIE”, with its infectious beat and ridiculous lyrics that we couldn’t help but identify with (even if we didn’t want to admit it), peaked on the US Billboard Hot 100 at No. 16.
Since then, they’ve released quite a few singles and an EP titled Bouquet, which featured “Roses,” a song that peaked the US Billboard Hot 100 at No. 6. Bouquet was not released until October 2015, two years after #SELFIE. During that time, as Taggard and Pall have discussed on their YouTube channel, they worked on developing their sound. #SELFIE wasn’t the kind of music they had made previously and they didn’t want that to be what they were known for. For two years, they were seen as a one-hit wonder, but as Taggart said, “You’re only a one-hit wonder until you’re not.” They used that time to develop who they wanted to be.
And it’s working.
“Closer” is the kind of song that cannot be ignored. It starts in with a really interesting beat that builds… until it doesn’t. It breaks into those beginning lyrics and you’re immediately hooked. The Chainsmokers have you listening to the whole song, just waiting and waiting for the beat to drop. It gets close to the drop you want about three minutes in, but then it mellows out again in a way that makes it perfect car dance party music. And of course, how do you avoid singing lyrics like “Stay, play that Blink-182 song that we beat to death in Tucson” at the top of your lungs?