Chromeo Rank Their 5 Best Songs

Dave 1 identifies "our fine line: somewhere in between humour, earnestness and nerdy songcraft"

Photo: Julian Dakdouk

BY Alex HudsonPublished Feb 14, 2024

"We had the best childhood," remembers Chromeo's David "Dave 1" Macklovitch. "We would show up at the club with matching outfits and have dance routines together. We'd write graffiti and get caught by the cops. We'd hand out flyers outside of clubs on New Years when it was 30 below."

Now that the Montreal funk duo of Dave 1 and Patrick "P-Thugg" Gemayel have been together for more than 20 years, they've grown up in age — but perhaps not in maturity.

"Maybe staying funky in your 30s and 40s is keeping some of that teenager energy alive somehow," offers Dave 1. "And you can still get down, have grown and sexy date nights. Funk is, after all, the quintessential uncle music."

Chromeo are keeping that funky spirit alive with their sixth full-length, Adult Contemporary (out February 16). To mark the occasion, Dave 1 ranked the group's five best songs from across their catalogue.

5. "Needy Girl"
She's in Control (2004)

The song that started it all. This gave us a career. It's the first time I sang in front of a microphone. We had like three synths back then and didn't know what we were doing. But we were so free! The drum switch-up in the middle sounds like Sting's "Englishman in New York," but I only realized that years later. It's A-Trak doing the scratches, and he had such a hard time making "dumb" scratches that needed to sound like someone who didn't know what they were doing in 1983.

4. "Old 45's"
White Women (2014)

This one's really a fan favourite, and it's from the period where we were collaborating a lot with Oliver. Vaughn made most of that track — he was working out of a closet 10 years ago, and now he's a huge multi-platinum producer. We love country music, and to us the chorus feels country. You could totally have a Nashville version of this song. Also it's got that fun ‘80s thing where it's both major and minor in the verses.  

3. "Personal Effects"
Adult Contemporary (2024)

This one is cool 'cause it's breezy and feels effortless. And we're super happy with the lyrics. The chorus came to me last year, the night before our Red Rocks show. We added it to the new album last-minute. For the first half of the tour last fall, we played it live but it wasn't out yet. It was amazing to watch the audience follow along with the lyrics and the story and laugh — guess that'll never happen again.

2. "Jealous (I Ain't with It)"
White Women (2014)

How could we not? Biggest song of our career, the perennial show finale. The cool part is that it came to us completely organically — I had the chorus for years, and Pee just whipped up the chords and the verse melody. I had just come back from Jamaica, where I heard Wyclef's "911" in a strip club, and I might've lifted some of that melody for the pre-chorus?

1. "Momma's Boy"
Fancy Footwork (2007)

I would sing that song as a little ditty to make people laugh. I didn't want to put it on the album, but Pee forced me. I was like, "But it's not funk," he insisted: "Doesn't matter!" I think that one was key in establishing our fine line: somewhere in between humour, earnestness and nerdy songcraft. And a guitar solo I'm still proud of to this day.

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