Joe Goddard admits that by the time his electronic quintet Hot Chip wrapped touring in 2010 he was a little road weary. "Hot Chip at the end of last year was like really a full-time day job," Goddard tells Rolling Stone. "We were on tour a lot, working hard, promoting the record, and you kind of get burned out a little bit from doing that day in, day out."
So he took a vacation – but one that still involved making music. He's spent the better part of 2011 working on various projects, including a series of collaborations with up-and-coming folk singer/songwriter Valentina. The two, who are writing together now, introduced their musical union via the ethereal club track "Gabriel" this month. (Watch the "Gabriel" video below.)
According to Goddard, he'd been wanting to turn Valentina's song into a dance track for some time. "It was initially a kind of ballad – very gentle, very slow paced, a cappella piece of music with her singing multi-track vocals," he says. "And a couple of years ago her manager played this track for me and I just said, 'If you don’t end up using this for anything else this would make a fantastic dance record.' It has great elements of a real epic dance track – longing in the vocals, it’s fantastically emotional and it has that slightly melancholy side to it."
As of now, the two have written three or four songs together, which could appear on Goddard's upcoming solo album or Valentina's own album. "We’re basically just writing songs together and we’ll kind of see which project they go towards, depending on how they turn out."
The Valentina pairing is just one of three albums the very busy Goddard is working on, the others being a collaboration with his friend Raf for a band called the 2 Bears and the next Hot Chip album. All three are due in 2012. "The Hot Chip album is kind of in its early stages," he says. "We’ve written a handful of tracks, maybe half the record. But we still have a lot of writing to do, mixing, producing, all the kind of finishing stages of the record."
Rejuventaed from his time apart from the band and working with others, Goddard is very excited to be back making music with Alexis Taylor in the Hot Chip fold. "So doing other things for the last nine months, 10 months, has been a great kind of change. I think we’re all looking forward to coming back to Hot Chip," he says. "It’s a talented group of people for me to work with, which is obviously great and fun. Also, I’ve been writing and working with Alexis for a long time, so it’s a very easy, comfortable relationship, which is really nice to get back into. We’ve been spending more time together recently writing and it’s been great. We’re still very compatible in terms of making music together."