Caroline Polachek Desire, I Want To Turn Into You

Perpetual Novice
3rd November 2023

Michael's Pick

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Format Info

LP - Copper Vinyl
LP - indies tiger's eye vinyl

I saw a meme the other day satirising shops and magazines’ 2023 end of year lists in which they all had Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want To Turn Into You in their top 10s. I kind of know why, there’s something crushingly inevitable about how good Polachek would be on her second album. Her debut Pang was great but honestly, Desire… is stratospheric. Inevitably, it’s in our Baker’s Dozen because it’s bold, ecstatic, endlessly tuneful, meticulously produced. It’s a cornucopia of genre-trashing pop treasure and even if you’re no fan of avant-pop music, so much of Polachek’s art is undeniable. She’s a virtuoso singer but on opener “Welcome To My Island” she combines falsetto with rapping and it’s absolutely delirious, the second song sounds really like Dido and then later on she HAS DIDO as a guest, with GRIMES along for the ride, for God’s sake.The singles set the tone, veering from abstract R’n’B on Bunny Is A Rider to the best Spanish / Flamenco-influenced pop song since La Isla Bonita on Sunset. If you’ve ever liked pop music of any description, you should just surrender like we did the moment we heard this album. Like other current favourites Rina Sayawama and Charli XCX, Polachek is doing what all pop auteurs have always done: she’s pushing the pop songwriting envelope forward, writing her own script as she goes and the rest of us can only strap in for the ride. 2023 was, inevitably, Caroline Polachek’s year. – MK

Desire, I Want To Turn Into You is Polachek’s first album release since her 2019 experimental pop masterpiece PANG which cemented her as a generational talent. Her profile has grown exponentially since – landing her everywhere from the direct opening spot on Dua Lipa’s 2022 North American Future Nostalgia Tour, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Primavera, All Points East, Governors Ball, Pitchfork Music Festival and Outside Lands, and involved with campaigns & shows for Loewe, Dior, Eckhaus Latta and Chloé, to late night performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Night Show with James Corden. Standout viral tracks like “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” have contributed to the album’s 175M global streams and counting and ignited a dance trend on TikTok.