Caroline Polachek approaches pop perfection in Desire

News  /  Music

Even as a member of the Boulder duo Chairlift, Caroline Polachek’s pop compositional talents were obvious. Since going solo eponymously and as “Ramona Lisa,” Polachek  stretched the limits of electronic pop. Desire, I Want to Turn Into You (Sony Music), released for streaming Feb. 14, extends such leaps exponentially. The opening track “Welcome to My Island” has a style recalling epic 1980s dance extravaganzas. But in the following song, Polachek finds a voice like Imogen Heap in the quiet “Pretty in Possible.”

The dozen tracks don’t follow a radical whiplash from song to song. Polachek’s synth-style was emergent in 2019’s stunning Pang, and now this hybrid approach combining elements of Heap and Kate Bush is applied to ballads like “Hopedrunk Everlasting,” and even a faux-Celtic reel, “Blood and Butter,” with young bagpipe virtuoso Brìghde Chaimbeul. Polachek’s May 14 Denver date at Mission Ballroom is a chance to catch a possible artist of the year.

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