“a warm horizon” for caroline polachek
caroline polachek’s highly anticipated fourth solo album ‘desire, i want to turn into you’ was released earlier this year, however, the physical release had been pushed back due to manufacturing delays. finally, you can get your hands on a beautiful exclusive metallic copper vinyl with us, which i was quick to purchase on its release!
polachek’s unique take on pop and dance music is taken to a whole new level on this record. following her fantastic 2019 record ‘pang’, polachek has doubled down on the electronic dance side of her music, with this record focusing more on influence from uk garage, drum ‘n’ bass and downtempo. touching further on her uniqueness as an artist, a quality that sets her apart from a lot of her contemporaries is her ability to shape her voice to sound like effects are manipulating her voice, a vocal technique she possesses that practically makes her a human multi-fx!
‘welcome to my island’, the opening track and the single that was released in conjunction with the album announcement, is an explosive blend of charting dance pop and new wave, introducing you to this album with a bang. her switch up between angelic whistle notes, point-blank narration and belting with rasp is absolutely extraordinary on this track. the ending vocals in atmospheric reverb are an absolute match made in heaven.
speaking of atmosphere, cuts such as ‘crude drawing of an angel’, ‘fly to you’ (featuring the incredible grimes and dido), ‘hopedrunk everasking’ and ‘butterfly net’ are prime examples of it being utilised with incredible results, elevating these tracks with heavenly effect.
‘bunny is a rider’ combines r&b and afrobeat with uk electronic influence, creating an incredibly intricate groove throughout, which is impossible not to bop your head to! next up, the track ‘sunset’ is a prime example of the experimentation she is known for within her music as she flawlessly combines flamenco, rumba catalana and alt-pop to create a track heavily focused on groove, a highlight of the album for me for sure, an insanely catchy little tune that captivates me more every time i listen.
final track ‘billions’ is by far the most expansive genre amalgamation on the album, a truly impressive and catchy addition to her portfolio. bush/heap-like vocal delivery combined with the new-agey/glitchy instrumental is a stunningly satisfying listen on the ears. a very fitting end to the exotic experience this album provides!
i would consider this my album of the year, it’s the perfect blend of pop fun and experimentation, without it feeling too tacky nor it being too reliable on pretensions. this album does not miss at any point on transporting you to this island she has created, seamlessly blending visual aesthetics in her music videos and artworks with her incredibly varied presentation of genre mixing, from styles all around the world.
must listen to: welcome to my island, sunset, i believe, billions
for fans of: bjork, kate bush, imogen heap