Culture, Music

Jam of the Week: Chic – I’ll Be There (ft. Nile Rodgers)

Chic - I'll Be There, single artwork (1425x802)Coinciding with Friday’s solar eclipse and the spring equinox, Chic returned with their first new material in 23 years in the form of ‘I’ll Be There’. Nile Rodgers, one half of the songwriting genii behind the likes of ‘Le Freak’ and ‘Everybody Dance’, is the only member of the original group alive today. He’s in the UK now for a series of live shows to celebrate the release of the new single, which also precedes an upcoming long player of unreleased Chic material – something which Rodgers’ describes as the reason for the band’s unexpected return.

The music of Nile Rodgers, and Chic in particular, is among my favourite. I’ve been rinsing the instrumental version of ‘I’ll Be There’ all week, so, though I’ve heard some fabulous tracks from Kendrick Lamer, Courtney Barnett, Years & Years, Grimes and Jill Scott too, Chic was more or less destine to be here. The vocal version, which features all of the original members who played and sang on the New York band’s first release, ‘Everybody Dance’, is classic Chic with sprinklings of modern production polish. As supremely funkified as any of the band’s biggest hits and oh-so-moreish in every way. I’ll be spinning this for months.

A video for the song, starring supermodel Karlie Kloss, is due to be released later today. Until then, you can also hear the premier radio play of ‘I’ll Be There’ and Rodgers chatting about it on Chris Evans’s Radio 2 breakfast show (from 01:40:00 to 01:50:00 (song at 01:46:10)).

I’ll Be There is out now and will also appear on the forthcoming album, It’s About Time, due in June on Warner Bros Records.

Image: Warner Bros Records