The Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall Uses his Personality to Keep Electronic Music Fresh

After The Chainsmokers’ breakout single, “#Selfie,” entered the cultural zeitgeist, founding member, Alex Pall, and more recent addition, Andrew Taggart, have been looking for ways to reinvent electronic music. In “Closer,” The Chainsmokers’ new single, the group believes that interweaving their personalities with their music just might be the key.

When deciding where to go with their next album, Pall and Taggart took a step back and examined the world of electronic music. They noticed that every artist in their genre hid behind some mask or DJ booth. Finding this boring and stale, they turned to their favorite genre of music from childhood: emo. They quickly became infatuated with how these artist were upfront and personal with their audiences. So, Pall and Taggart decided to take a page out of the emo genre instead. They would do something that no other DJ was doing: write songs about their lives and sing them too.

Soon they began writing and releasing songs like “Roses” and “Don’t Let Me Down.” These songs put the emo aesthetic–personal, upfront, emotional songwriting, sung by a member of the band–into the electronic genre. Both songs quickly became hits, and The Chainsmokers were getting even more public attention. Pall’s new strategy was working.

Their new single, “Closer,” continues in this innovative style of song writing. This song tells the story of hooking up with an old ex-girlfriend and how quickly that experience can turn sour. In a way, the song plays as a twisted duet. Taggart sings the male vocals and Halsey–an artist Pall wanted because she is so definitively herself–sings the female vocals.

And “Closer” is just part of a new album The Chainsmokers are working on. Once again distancing themselves from their genre, they hope to tell a complete story on their next major release. Pall is working to release a collection of songs that continue to stay fresh. Because that’s the only way to stay on top.

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