Pick of The Week: Caroline Polacheck “Welcome to My Island”

WERS 88.9FM Pick of the Week - Caroline Polacheck - Welcome to My Island
Graphics by Arlo Winokur

By Eden Unger, Staff Writer

Caroline Polachek’s highly anticipated album Desire I Want to Turn Into You, begins with a bang. Or more accurately, an operatic vocalization with just the right amount of grit. “Welcome To My Island,” the first track of the album, is a triumphant start to the “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” singer’s most recent album since 2019’s Pang.

“Welcome to My Island” was released alongside the album announcement on December 5, 2022, with the full album arriving on Valentine’s Day 2023. The single, alongside its remixes, were the penultimate releases before the album itself.

 

She Has the Range

The best parts of the track are when Polachek pushes her voice beyond its limits. After the second chorus, the track comes down a bit into the bridge, lending some great drama to the lyrics, which are already quite punchy in and of themselves: “Go forget the rules, forget your friends / Just you and your reflection / 'Cause nothing's gonna be the same again / No, nothing's gonna be the same again. "As the bridge comes to a climax, Polachek’s voice seems to almost overwhelm the limits of the song itself. At this point, the vocalizations that kicked things off, and are also sprinkled satisfyingly through the rest of the song, make for a great transition from the bridge into the final chorus.

 

Whose Hoof Is That?

Polachek’s music video for the song is also pretty great, and it is Polachek’s video. Along with her partner and collaborator, Matt Copson, Polachek directed and edited the video (and of course she also starred in it). The video features her in a number of increasingly surreal scenes: the first is tame enough, showing her in a coffee shop, grabbing a coffee cup that’s been mislabeled “Carolyn” from a barista played by Natalie Laura Mering, a.k.a Weyes Blood; next we see Polachek lying at the bottom of a large cardboard box, covered in what appear to be cave paintings; later on we see her mimic a volcano erupting with what I can only assume is her coffee from earlier on; one of the very last scenes shows her running around on the beach holding hands, no make that hooves, with an unseen lover.

 

I Definitely Ain’t Leaving This Island

I’d actually never heard any of Polachek’s work before “Welcome to My Island,” aside from “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” but after this, all the tracks from Desire I Want to Turn Into You are definitely gonna be in my “on repeat”. Polachek plays at Roadrunner on April 15th, presented by WERS!

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