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Caroline Polachek Loses Herself on “Desire, I Want To Turn Into You”

Caroline Polachek fights Mediterranean love trances on her dazzling sophomore album, Desire, I Want To Turn Into You. Desire is but another beast the 37-year-old cannot beat, and instead, is endlessly at its mercy.

Caroline Polachek fights Mediterranean love trances on her dazzling sophomore album, Desire, I Want To Turn Into You.
Caroline Polachek’s cover art for second astudio album “Desire…” (Photographed by Aidan Zamiri; Courtesy of Sony)

Desire Breakdown

From “Welcome To My Island.” the first track presents this siren-like demise within a reinvented science-pop soundscape, inspired by nostalgic Eurodance synths. But that mystical mash-up is reality given the producer credits of hyper-pop geniuses A.G. Cook, Sega Bodega, and Danny L Harle throughout the record.

These days, I wear my body like an uninvited guest / I turn it right and right and right instead of turning left / But, boy, your patience is a magic kind of medicine / ‘Cause every spiral brings me back into your arms again.

First verse of “Sunset” by Caroline Polachek

Polachek leaves draws her line in the sand upon every track on Desire. The newest priestess of ethereal pop (looked over by Kate Bush) takes another brave step into the experimental. Similar to 2019’s Pang, there always seemed to be a non-stop shifting which resonated within production while still remaining quintessential Caroline. But 2022’s Desire fuels 12 distinct mirages of love– herself purely a vessel for this transformative power.

From the White Lotus-esque ooohs (inspired by the late composer Enno Morricone) saturated with Spanish, Italian, and Romani folk melody, “Sunset” is more than a pretty setting, but tells a tale of disillusionment. Or the SOPHIE-dedicated “I Believe” having strong connections to classical orchestral sounds and Celine Dion until her and Harle patchworked a industrialized 90s Cher moment.

Perhaps the album’s “oh snap” moment came from the trip hop fantasy of “Fly To You” featuring Grimes and Dido. Add the lush atmosphere and the layered autotuned vocalizations and it results in the best fever dream feeling.

As the album artwork depicts, a wild-eyed Polachek crawls towards metaphorical, sandy paradise on the train floor. Little known, the electronic backbone of Desire roots itself in the traditional musicscape of Eastern Europe like Italy’s Bruno Lauzi (partly inspired “Butterfly Net”) and Scottish bagpipes (on “Blood and Butter.”)

The album’s medium is feeling. It’s about character and movement and dynamics, while dealing with catharsis and vitality. It refuses literal interpretation on purpose.

via Apple Music

Polachek continues to embrace etheral pop in unconventional yet aspirational ways fitting of one of pop’s most forward-thinking pioneers.

What do you think about Caroline Polachek’s sophomore album, Desire, I Want To Turn Into You? Let us know in the comments!
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