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When NewAge Music Gets Real

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When NewAge Music Gets Real

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When NewAge Music Gets Real
When NewAge Music Gets Real

If you told a music lover in 1994 that one of the most popular albums of 2023 would sound like Pure Moods , a relaxing CD that would later be sold in TV commercials for $17.99 (plus shipping and handling), that person would have laughed. . But if you had told me the same thing in 1994, I would have said the future looked bright. I was 7 years old. Pure Moods commercials , complete with unicorns and Enya, caused a stir between Nickelodeon episodes.

Pop innovator Caroline Polachek, 37, probably felt the same way about the ad. As children, many of us millennials could only glimpse the sound known as New Age like rare fireflies. This soothing blend of electronic instruments and global folk traditions has its roots in the hippie era, but became a commercial phenomenon in the late 80s. In the '90s, trap-hop was reabsorbed into pop and rock, thanks to Madonna's Tool and Ray of Light , who brought the purest ambient music, mainly Crystal, to the stores. When my generation came of age, the new era seemed like a lost world, a magical land that was promised to us but never arrived.

Polacek's new album , Arzu, senne varmemak vulman, finds this space. He dreams not of what the new age actually is or has become, but of what once seemed from afar: true magic. And that's the highlight of Polacek, who has already had a huge impact on the culture. He's played with the indie band Chairlift (you know it from the 2008 Apple ad), co-wrote a song for Beyonce (2013's gorgeous "No Angel"), and earned a name in New York magazine and the cover of Pitchfork . The favorite song of 2021. His 2019 solo album Pang featured Sade's all-time ballad Light a Candle and Listen to The Door and the TikTok hit "So Hot, You Hurt My Feelings". ".

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In terms of music, Polacek has two special merits. The sound is like a katana, so flexible you can't tell exactly where it ends and the air around it begins, and so powerful it can kill giants. Its melodies take dramatic turns, reflecting both Polacek's operatic training and his study of auto-tuning technology, which shows not only what the human voice can't do , but what it can't. Polachek's other advantage is that he is a songwriter and producer. She's part of a group of singer-producers who mix hyperactive electronica, R&B and lush pop: Grimes, Janelle Monáe, Charli XCX. Among its peers, it stands out for its vivid abstraction and stylish content. Polachek's music doesn't send messages. creates worlds.

"Wish, I want to make in you " is bright and loud, but has the three-color simplicity of a Nintendo game. He and his producers focus on a few ingredients: smooth water keyboards, shimmering acoustic guitars, intricately patterned tablas and a bell-shaped break. Although based on familiar pop structures, the lyrics have an origami quality that folds and unfolds on its own, creating pockets and layers. I'm just thinking about how the first chorus of "Blood and Grease" transitions into the second verse of the song. the transition is instantaneous and like the ringing of a bell, breaking through one vibrational range to hint at another.

All this imaginative and metamorphic sound captures the imaginative and metamorphic desires Poláček describes in the cut-and-pasted texts. The explosive Welcome to Man screensaver predicts a utopian escape. "Come on, forget the rules, forget your friends." Later songs describe such wonders as escape, immortality, and love so strong that it replaces eating and drinking. Polacek's fearsome borders temper them, as do the music's sombre allusions; rapturous yodels approach murderous screams, basslines hinting at the depths of magma. The loss of Polacek's father (due to complications from COVID-19 in 2020) and musical partner Sophie (in an accident that rocked the pop music world in 2021) is evident as Polacek repeatedly sings of his longing for the fleeting to last forever about pleasures.

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An imaginary musician of the grunge era might think: isn't the avant-garde pop of Pure Moods, for example, a classic? Well, not much, but let's think about it for a moment. The perfect expression of the imagination is one of the great missions of art, which connects Tchaikovsky with the Wu Tang Clan. When we say something is awkward, we mean it's naive, accepting simplistic challenges that don't make sense. Polacek, always watching his death, does not. When the album's last and most stunning track, Billions, closes with a youth choir singing, the effect heats up. Children can believe that places like Polacek Island are real. Adults know that they can only visit their mind for a limited time.

New Age – My Journey // SONGS Finale // 04.05.2018

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