Ramona Lisa

Arcadia (Terrible)

Rating: NNN

For her debut solo project, Chairlift frontwoman Caroline Polachek (aka Ramona Lisa) created beautiful electronic soundscapes using her laptop. Recorded while touring with her Brooklyn band, the compact synth/microphone/drums set-up suited her makeshift studios: hotel room closets, airport bathrooms and semi-private spaces in between.

The resulting album, however, feels wholly organic. Her “pastoral electronic” landscapes, as she describes them, vary from ecclesiastical to sensual to futuristic and alien.

In her Ramona Lisa alter ego, Polachek indulges experimental whims while also exploring her feminine, romantic side. (On standout track Getaway Ride, her powerhouse vocals seduce with coos and woos so convincing, we’d happily agree to be her accomplice in a heist.)

Polachek’s voice, however, is also her Achilles heel: the vocal melodies somehow overpower the landscapes, threatening to make them forgettable.

Top track: Getaway Ride

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