Caroline Polachek, who’s most recent collaborators include Devonté Hynes and Beyoncé, took command of the stage at Baby’s All Right for thirty-odd minutes of bewildering, imagined soundscapes. The artist-producer’s newest endeavour is the solo project Ramona Lisa; the debut album, Arcadia (Terrible), celebrated its album release party Monday night. The show was much different from what you might expect, especially for fans of Polachek’s musical tenacity as one half of the duo Chairlift with Patrick Wimberly. There were no instruments onstage, no props. Nothing to avert your eyes from the often harrowing, but enjoyably so, spectacle.
Ramona Lisa, opening with the haunting reservation of “Arcadia,” had Caroline Polachek centered between two, eerily identical backup vocalists, who emphasized her embryonic, swooshing productions with wild upper-body choreography: taut and precise but very much senseless hand movements that only further embellished the idiosyncratic extramusical nature of the performance. To compensate for the lack of visual instrumentation, Ramona Lisa’s stage production filled in the blanks as sophisticated and pristine adornment to the weird musical mutations. Polachek closed with her most upbeat track of the night, her percolated dance hit “Backwards and Upwards;” beaming and grateful for the packed-to-capacity audience.
Photos by Angel Eugenio Fraden; posted at CMJ [here]