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Chairlift inspired by New York City roots

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Chairlift — the New York-based duo of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly — has a new album, “Moth.” (Courtesy Tim Barber)

Caroline Polachek of the alterna-pop duo Chairlift has been busy for the past few years. She released a solo album (under the name Ramona Lisa), composed runway scores for fashion designers and music for a ballet and art installation; and wrote the song “No Angel” on Beyonce’s fifth disc. Chairlift keyboardist Patrick Wimberly produced the track, and logged studio hours with Tecla, Fort Lean, Das Racist and Solange Knowles. Yet the pair somehow found time to record “Moth,” their third album.

”Moth” sounds like a record about falling in love, set against the backdrop of your native New York City.

Polachek: Bingo! In the past, we always saw New York as a workshop. But when we came home after touring our last record, we began to understand how close New York is to us, how much it’s become a part of us, and how much it changes the way we think. And we really wanted to take a look at that and have this record reflect the energy of New York City. Plus, this was a very romantic time in both of our lives – Patrick got married halfway through touring our last record, and I met the man who I would marry shortly after that. So a lot of this record, for better or worse, came out of a very honest, emotional place.

What did you discover about yourselves through a Big Apple prism?

Polacheck: We discovered that we thrive on a lot going on, all at once. In the same way all these different cultures contribute to the melting pot that is New York, Patrick and I were both working on a lot of other projects during this record, and I think it made us realize exactly, specifically what Chairlift is, and what Chairlift is best at. So there was a new sense of beauty to what Chairlift is, compared to everything else we were working on. So we were able to really zero in on that.

Wimberly: And this was the first time that we got to build our own studio, from the ground up. So we just designed a place that was perfect for us. So another thing that we learned about ourselves as producers was that, like Caroline was saying, we thrive in a sense of community. So the studio we built became a hub for all of our talented friends, all these different musicians that we’ve met in the last 10 years. So everything just started to come together in this space. And we spent so much time in there, nobody ever wanted to leave!

Where: Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. March 21
Tickets: $20 (sold out)
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.ticketfly.com

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