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Chromeo and the Story of Promoting An Album in 2014

Always true to their sound and their fans, North America’s favorite electro-funk duo hit it hard this spring for their new album, White Women.

Since the duo's inception in 2002, Chromeo have stayed locked in a state of sexed-up funk. Their songs and albums are fun-filled waterslides of bubbly melodies that all trickery aside, boil down to machine-based takes on simple love songs. Throughout their career, Dave1 (David Macklovitch) and P-Thugg (Patrick Gemayel) have stayed true to their sound without making too many radical changes.  In a recent interview with THUMP, Dave discussed his love for current single "Jealous (I Ain't With It)," calling it a "simple, yet really ambitious on a pop level. It has shmuck lyrics and elements of vulnerability. " This is the embodiment of the Chromeo formula.


On their fourth LP, White Women, released earlier this week, we hear Chromeo navigate the alluring waters of attraction and sexual desire, embedded with their casual and winking objectification of women, often literally as the pairs of curvy light-up legs that act as keyboard stands on-stage continue to be a feature of their live show and faceless women with glossy gams adorn the covers of their albums and singles. (The album's title references that of photographer Helmut Newton's debut book, another artist known for his admiration of female body parts.)

Just as their sound contains references to classic 70s funk, Hall & Oates harmonies and late-era disco, Chromeo's marketing campaign for White Women paid homage to the traditional, with a showcase of television, radio and marquee live performances in the release run-up. Modern elements included a Reddit AMA, Benny Benassi remix of "Jealous," and an announcement of the album's release date through a Valentine's Day craigslist ad. After White Women opened atop the iTunes charts on Monday, it's hard to argue with the methodology.

Just like The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Chromeo's first TV play came on the chat shows. Chromeo turned to Jimmy Kimmel to perform "Jealous." After a victorious return to Coachella's main stage, the duo recorded a live set and interview at Bob Clearmountain's Apogee Studios in Santa Monica for tastemaking radio station and early Chromeo-supporter KCRW.


Watching these two performance videos side by side one can truly sense the duo's maturity into the realm of pop-friendly dance music. They've shed the flannels, Kangols, baby weight (looking good P!) and now appear as a pair of smooth cats; effortlessly donning leather jackets, tight black jeans and some seriously shiny hardware - all of which supports their image as ladykilling studs.

While their marketing strategy has been adjusted to follow suit with today's all-encompassing social media atmosphere,

White Women

is a solid offering that should please nearly all of the duo's devoted fan base. Dave1 told me the story of the album followed the recipe of most of their previous offerings: "I think it's our usual sprinkling of every aspect of relationships from jealousy, to seduction, to breakups and getting back together."

To me, that's exactly why we love Chromeo— they don't try to reinvent their albums as some sort of philosophical think-tank. Dave1 and P-Thugg know what we want, and time after time they continue to deliver.