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Caroline Polachek goes solo in The Current studio

Caroline Polachek visits The Current's studio
Caroline Polachek visits The Current's studioMary Mathis | MPR
  Play Now [19:21]

by Jade and Cecilia Johnson

December 23, 2019

Some people know Caroline Polachek from the band Chairlift; some know her from Charli XCX's Pop 2 mixtape; and many are just now finding out who this expressionist pop artist is. This week, Polachek visits The Current's music discovery show, New Hot, and introduces herself via a gorgeous set on piano. Between songs, she and The Current host Jade talk about Polachek's love for Disney movies, how she would stage her album Pang if it were an opera, and what the word "passion" really means.

On using her own name, Polachek says, "Well, I just had to rein myself in. I love alter egos; I love projects; I love compartmentalizing. But at the same time, when I made the decision to go solo after Chairlift [...] I was looking at all these phases I've had, and I was thinking, the thing I want to do next gets at the essence of all these different things. This is the most 'essential me' music I've ever made."

Despite this emphasis on Polachek's self, Pang could only ever exist thanks to her collaboration with Danny L Harle, who is signed to London's polarizing, "hyperpop" PC Music label. The duo met around 2016 and created the single "Ashes of Love," which eventually led to work on the song "Parachute" and the rest of Pang. Polachek herself is signed to her own Sony imprint, Perpetual Novice, but she finds allegiance in PC co-conspirators, including A.G. Cook, Dorian Electra, and Charli XCX.

Especially given Polachek's PC Music connection, it's stunning to hear her perform solo on piano. Even without the thumps and distant screams that swaddle the songs on Pang, her writing totally holds up.

The session airs Monday, Dec. 23, on New Hot (between 10 p.m. and midnight). You can also listen to the complete session using the audio player above.

Songs Performed

"So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings"
"Ocean of Tears"

All songs from Caroline Polachek's 2019 album Pang, available on Perpetual Novice.

Hosted by Jade
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Mary Mathis
Web production by Cecilia Johnson

More Video

Caroline Polachek - official site

@carolineplz - Instagram