Caroline Polachek, former frontwoman of the synthpop band Chairlift, has announced Pang, her debut studio album as a solo artist. Pang will be released this fall through Columbia Records. As of right now, there is no exact release date. Polachek included two new singles, “Ocean of Tears” and “Parachute”, with the announcement of the upcoming project. She had already released “Door” as the lead single for Pang earlier this year.
Excluding the last thirty seconds, where the song slowly fades away, “Ocean of Tears” becomes more and more dense as it goes on. Bold production choices like a series of violent but satisfying bass hits near the end of the song add depth to the already beautiful main synth line, and Polachek slowly becomes more adventurous with her vocals. One moment that stands out in “Ocean of Tears” is her decision to echo the last few words of each line in the second chorus. Also, rather than just repeating the lyric, Polachek harmonizes with the original chorus, further emphasizing her frustration with a faraway love in lyrics like, “Oh, my god, I wanna know what it feels like / To pull you close and tangle up with you real tight / The only thing that’s separating you and me tonight / Ah! — is an ocean of tears”.
“Parachute” represents a much different musical direction for Polachek. Lyrically, the song begins relatively dark, with her jumping out of a plane and fully accepting her immediate death, but the song takes on a different, more hopeful tone as she confidently sings, “The parachute / I’ve got to trust it now”. Both the production and Polachek’s vocals on “Parachute” are absolutely gorgeous. The light synth line and twinkly keys create the perfect backdrop for her to deliver a vocal performance that demands the listener’s attention. There are a few occasions throughout this song where Polachek’s ability to effortlessly jump in and out of her upper register recalls the vocal acrobatics of a young Joni Mitchell.
Polachek’s previous work as a member of Chairlift (along with Patrick Wimberly and Aaron Pfenning) achieved much critical acclaim over the course of their 12 years as a group. The band broke up in 2017, citing different aspirations musically; Polachek was most interested in a solo career, and Patrick wanted to produce full-time. Their third and final album, Moth, was realized in 2016, and their last live performance was in spring 2017.
UPDATE (10/9): Caroline Polachek has announced the track listing and shared the album art for her upcoming album Pang. The album is her solo debut after Chairlift called it quits and includes previously-released singles like “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” and “Ocean of Tears.”
- The Gate
- New Normal
- Hit Me Where It Hurts
- I Give Up
- Look At Me Now
- Ocean of Tears
- Hey Big Eyes
- Go As A Dream
- Caroline Shut Up
- So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat