Monday, May 23rd, 2022

Flume ft. Caroline Polachek – Sirens

But are we inexorably drawn?


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Diaphanous, otherworldly, and rapturous. The first time I listened to “Sirens,” I literally found myself holding my breath and clutching my pearls, with my mouth agape. This is a stunning display of Caroline Polachek’s acrobatic vocal talents and Flume’s facility in founding unexplored sonic landscapes; I’m still recovering from it. 

Micha Cavaseno: It makes sense that this collaboration went down! Flume is in many ways, a harbinger of left-field bloggertronica types going on to found Hyperpop and beyond but actually make it pop-leaning. And Caroline Polachek’s album basically took the idea of being a glitchy hyperreal WAY TOO ONLINE type popstar and gave us good songs devoid of retrofitting and filler. Maybe they weren’t the big exciting new thing, but they were excellent bridges that made the possibilities of the new make more sense to the present. So here we have a song that perfectly synergizes what the two of them do best and it’s so logical it’s almost redundant. One thing is for sure, I’m going to play this in the direction of Jam City’s L.A. Apartment as he tries to turn himself into an indie folk boy and bray like a hyena in the hopes that he realizes he blew his shot because he isn’t as talented as either of these two. Good music makes you petty like that.

Hannah Jocelyn: Surprised a Caroline Polachek song called “Sirens,” with that topline and that video, didn’t already exist. On that alone, it’s very good. Unfortunately, this is not a Caroline Polachek song, this is a Flume song, and the two don’t quite match. It feels like a remix of a song that was probably better without the risers and synth stabs, maybe a more ambient one like “Insomnia.” The fault isn’t only Flume’s though, as I’d love to see Polachek do some wilder vocalizations for these kinds of tracks, giving into the bombast instead of contrasting it. 

Ian Mathers: You could imagine the wrong singer sounding cowed or overshadowed by the fractured, fracturing production but Polachek is just about perfect in the middle of it. The result sounds as intense and otherworldly as her best solo stuff, although it’s more of a mood piece than her own singles tend to be. Thinking about this kind of sonic approach applied to more of a banger, though… it’s compelling.

Thomas Inskeep: Polachek sounds absurdly overprocessed and shrill on this incredibly generic EDM track — just what I’d expect from Flume, only worse. This is unlistenable.

Will Adams: Perhaps one day I will be able to explain why I consider “sounds like it got stuck in a garbage disposal” high praise.

Andrew Karpan: The new Flume is new age, chilled out, and it’s not surprising to hear Caroline Polachek taking the place of the anonymously bluesy EDM vocals that dominated the Australian festival sensation’s earlier efforts to conquer the tops of that world’s various mainstages. Well, he did it and now he’s doing this. Polachek’s voice cuts into his gentle electronica-sound like a knife, the words barely discernible, using the song as a platform to present a compelling image of the singer as a kind of hyperpop Björk.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: For the past decade, Caroline Polachek has perfected her style of humanistic vocal computing, honing her melodies into breathtakingly simple patterns, vehicles of subtle awe that sound even better the more you think about them. “Sirens” is the apex of her style, with Flume’s industrial Bolero giving her the ideal arena for her endless oscillation of a melody. It’s a rocket reaching exit velocity rendered in synths and voice.

Reader average: [6.33] (3 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.