Happy International Women’s Day! Since it’s a day to celebrate all women, we’re making this day as a reason to feature one of our favourite female musicians – Caroline Polachek. After we’ve featured some of her music here, I’m pretty sure if you’re not already a fan of hers yet, you’ll probably want to have a reason to talk about her too – she’s that good.
Caroline’s currently on tour opening for Dua Lipa, along with French-American musician Lolo Zouaï, but did you know that before breaking out as a solo act, she’s done as couple of collaborations and started out as one-half of the synth-pop band Chairlift?
As our Featured Artist, we’re listing down our favourite Caroline Polachek songs –
1) So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings by Caroline Polachek
We actually debated if we’d include this song in the songs that made it viral on TikTok, but Caroline is just too awesome not to have her own list. “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” is not just a bop, it’s banger that actually went viral – thanks to the unique choroegraphy to the song, that’s not really much of a dance song to begin with. The dance, it just works. Paper magazine describes it as “campy but tasteful” – so you kind of get the appeal. If you’ve spent a significant amount if time on TikTok in the past couple of months, you’ve definitely encountered videos where people are just having fun with the choreography. Celebrities like Camila Mendes and Olivia Sui have jumped in, and even Caroline Polachek herself made a video doing her own TikTok trend.
And if you’ve ever wondered, how did she ever get so good at interpretative dance choreography? You’re in luck, as the next video explains it.
2) Amanaemonesia by Chairlift
“Amanaemonesia” is a single from Chairlift’s 2012 album “Something” and it was released with a music video of a young Caroline doing an interpretative dance in a lime green suit. As you can see, she’s been doing this for at least ten years! If TikTok was alive back then, we could’ve gotten an #amonaemonesia trend and Chairlift might not have disbanded. As much as we love Chairlift though, we do like solo act Caroline better. To those curious, amanaemonesia is a made-up word much like the dance that Caroline made up on the fly for the music video. According to Caroline, “‘Amanaemonesia’ is about irresponsibility and guilt, combined with confusion and anarchy and being very small in a sea of a big population. Splintering ourselves into multiple personalities within the song, that’s a good perspective to approach the song from.” Check out the tushy wiggle here to fully appreciate Caroline’s unique choreography.
3) New Shapes by Charli XCX (feat. Christina and the Queens and Caroline Polachek)
This is more of a Charli XCX song, but it has so much Caroline Polachek influence that it deserves to be on this list. Charli XCX collaborates with Caroline Polachek and French singer Christine and the Queens who’s done a collaboration with Caroline as well (La vita nuova – another video that’s worth a watch). We love the old school feel of everything and there’s so much star power in this song as the three artists give an all out performance.
4) Izzit True What They Tell Me by Ramona Lisa
This will be the last Caroline Polachek dance video in this list, promise! We just can’t get enough.
Ramona Lisa was Caroline’s moniker for her 2014 debut solo album “Arcadia”. The album came about during her artistic residency at Rome’s Villa Medici complex. To promote the album, she shot a series of 10 videos dancing to all of her songs in the album, accompanied by two identically-dressed backup dancers. Less pop and more experimental – Ramona Lisa didn’t stray from the synth-pop sound she was known for with Chairlift, but it brought another flavor of Caroline Polachek that a lot of her fans love.
5) Walk Like an Egyptian – Girl Crisis
Who loves The Bangles? We do! Who wouldn’t forget the ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ dance in the 80’s? Maybe none of you … or I guess some of you? Who reads this blog anyways? Might as well comment here or here and let us know!
In this grainy Super8 video, Girl Crisis – Caroline’s choir band, does a pretty good cover. Girl Crisis was formed in 2008 by Caroline and twelve other female singers including members of Au Revoir Simone and Class Actress. They only release songs on YouTube and swear they’ll never play them live. This cover is their latest among other similar stripped down covers of famous songs that include Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart, Nirvana’s Come as You Are and Chris Isaac’s Wicked Game.
6) Everything Is Spoilt By Use by Ice Choir
“Everything Is Spoilt By Use” will give you heavy 80s New Wave vibes. Listening to this song actually made us miss Scritti Politti and OMD – their songs Oh Patti and Souvenir in particular (we’re actually vibing to these songs right now while writing the article). Caroline Polachek features in this song by Ice Choir which is the solo project Kurt Feldman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart). Not only did she collaborate with Kurt Feldman for this, but she also directs the music video.
7) I Belong In Your Arms (Japanese Version) by Chairlift
A Caroline Polachek song list wouldn’t be complete if Chairlift’s “I Belong In Your Arms” wasn’t included. This 2012 hit was originally released in English for their sophomore album “Something”. To commemorate the release of the album in Japan, Chairlift also created a limited 7-inch with the Japanese version of the song. Considering that some of Caroline’s influences included traditional Japanese songs and anime themes when she lived in Japan as a child, it’s no wonder the song sounds so good in Japanese too. We actually prefer this version better. Accompanying this song is a karaoke-inspired music video, complete with sing-along lyrics and very bad green screen footage in the background as the band performs. Fittingly, the B-side of the limited 7-inch is a midi karaoke version of the song by Ice Choir’s Kurt Feldman.