Chairlift have always made left field synth pop. While the band mostly stressed the pop part, the solo project of front woman Caroline Polachek as Ramona Lisa, now out on Terrible Records, concentrates on the left field side of the spectrum. The album was mostly recorded in a studio in Rome, but also in public places like airport waiting areas. Polachek described the liberating feeling of accepting the stares of random people around her singing into her laptop and abandoning the whole idea of creativity being a reclusive, intense and ardous endeavour. The album has the charm of imperfection and a very personal, open feel to it – most likely because of those production terms.
“Arcadia” is another example of what is possible regarding laptop production these days. It is the new lo-fi, oftentimes preferable to larger recordings in terms of experimentation and creativity. That being said, the album has its more accessible tracks in the first half, with “Backwards And Upwards” being the hit on an album full of non-hits. Later on, Polachek drifts further into Julia Holter’s territory, ending with a closer that shed most of pop’s conventions, or song conventions in general. It is almost as if Polachek started off in well known Chairlift surroundings and travelled somewhere random and unknown. So if you are looking for a new Chairlift record, this isn’t it. But what it has to offer is a mostly quiet, emotional and personal journey through an experimental electronic production trial-and-error learning process of one Caroline Polachek.