“Welcome to My Island,” the opening monitor of Caroline Polachek’s newest album, “Need, I Need to Flip Into You,” begins with a twenty-five second primal scream. For the following 45 minutes, we’re in her territory with no probability of escape.
Just like the sirens of Greek mythology who lured legions of sailors to their deaths, Polachek understands the facility of harnessing uncooked emotion to entrap and enrapture. By the point the echolalic repetition of the refrain hits, it’s clear that Polachek doesn’t need us to easily really feel her emotion: she needs to turn out to be emotion in order that we are able to really feel her.
In our fashionable “emotive period,” listeners anticipate pop songs to sound as in the event that they had been recorded instantly after a remedy session. Some imagine the perfect songs come when the artist is armed with nothing greater than alkaline water and jottings on their Notes app. Contemplating Polachek’s discography up up to now — which incorporates heart-wrenching singles comparable to “So Scorching You’re Hurting My Emotions” and “Ocean of Tears” — there’s ample proof she will be able to craft these emotive tunes. She constantly exceeds expectations together with her brash lyrics, synth pop hooks and self-described “hyper-maximalist” manufacturing method.
“Need, I Need to Flip Into You,” is Polachek’s sophomore album as a solo artist. Previous to her solo releases, she reduce her tooth within the indie band Chairlift, whose tune “Bruises” was included in a 2008 iPod Nano business.
Polachek’s lengthy standing tenure within the music business is mirrored in her skill to maneuver by way of musical types with ease. The primary three tracks of her present launch alone vary from new wave to journey hop to her indie roots. The melody in “Fairly in Potential” appears like a fuzzy interpolation of Suzanne Vega’s 1987 hit “Tom’s Diner.” Within the lead single “Bunny is a Rider,” the stream-of-consciousness lyrics, funk bassline and Timbaland-inspired beat are proof of her inventive freedom. Polachek’s genre-hopping permits her to flex her versatility and concurrently defy neat categorization — it’s unimaginable to position an intangible object right into a field.
The album is deeply self-referential, with musical phrases, melodies and lyrics from one tune reappearing in others. For instance, the physique is described as a supply of energy in “Blood and Butter” however explored and as a burden to be transcended in “Sundown.”
Among the many completely different emotions that Polachek embodies is melancholy. In “Crude Drawing of An Angel” and “I Consider” (the latter being a tribute to the musician SOPHIE, who died in 2021), her witful vocals within the verses are punctuated with spoken instructions. Polachek understands that feelings as massive as longing to manage one’s self-image and grief on the lack of a pal require self-soothing, which she expresses within the instructions.
Lest one suppose these expressions of emotional vulnerabilities are a insecurity, her mastery is on full show in “Fly to You,” a tune that includes Grimes and Dido. Solely a pop star as safe in her artistry as Polachek would let featured vocalists take each the intro and the outro.
In “Hopedrunk Everasking,” the sound of a chirping smoke alarm may be heard all through. Listeners ought to beware: listening to the album with headphones may be disconcerting! One of many strongest tracks, “Blood and Butter,” options Polachek’s auto-tuned vocals complemented by bagpipes in the course of the bridge. Along with nodding to her Scottish heritage, the surprising instrumentation reminds us that pop music, irrespective of how avant garde, ought to be enjoyable.
Because the album involves a detailed on “Billions,” Polachek seamlessly blends talk-singing with a powerful, layered vocal efficiency in the course of the refrain. Right here, the physique is described as an “upgraded” object, albeit “lifeless on arrival” at this level. Polacheck doesn’t depart us with out a clear assertion of her affective state: the Trinity Boys Choir is introduced in to sort out the chorus, “I by no means felt so near you.” Kids are identified for being brutally sincere. In an album the place the lyrics alternatively categorical bravado and self-effacement, a youngsters’s choir permits Polachek to make a meta touch upon making artwork that captures the complexity of being human.
Emotions are messy. Finally, whereas the emotional rhythms of “Need, I Need to Flip Into You” elide formal logic, there’s catharsis — each for the listener and Polachek.
Editor’s Be aware: This text is a evaluate and consists of subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.