Caroline Polachek – ‘Blood and Butter’ single review: a perfect tease for summer


Get your flip flops at the ready cause we're off to the beach to dance to this summertime hit!

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I first became aware of American singer Caroline Polachek last year on tiktok. Her deep, mesmerising vocals on ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’ sounded so ethereal and angelic, and it was such a beautifully written song about break-ups. The beauty of tiktok is that it has managed to give a platform to artists who hadn’t received their deserved fame back in the day when they released their songs, with ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’ going viral three years after its launch. 

Polachek has a vast amount of EPs in her discography, but latest single ‘Blood and Butter’ comes from her fourth studio album, Desire, I Want To Turn Into You, which is due for release on the 14th of February, a lovely valentine’s gift from our gal Caroline! She has already released five tracks from the new album, including ‘Bunny Is A Rider’ which has an electronic sound that would fit well on the beach clubs of Ibiza, and ‘Billions’, a song with a similar sound, although slightly more euphoric. What both these tracks have in common with ‘Blood and Butter’ is that they have major summer vibes, which is an overarching theme that stems from the lead single, ‘Welcome To My Island’

Caroline Polachek, via Aidan Zamiri

‘Blood and Butter’ is very much at home on Caroline’s island, beginning with a classic Polachek mystical intro. The beat begins to build with an electronic dance-esque drum beat, although much more mellow (this is a good thing). It’s a really groovy melody that makes you want to dance in the summer sun; I am very tempted to say this album may follow in the footsteps of Lorde’s Solar Power era, even going as far as to heavily use an acoustic guitar like Lorde, which makes the song feel very organic and light. What is perhaps the most exciting use of an instrument in a pop song is a bagpipe solo which none of us could’ve predicted, but feels very fitting for the creative singer. At first, I didn’t bat an eyelid at the bagpipes because admittedly, I didn’t realise what it was. I’m assuming my musical ignorance is a good thing however because it shows that the instrument felt very natural in the upbeat song and wasn’t jarring. The variation of instruments and the acoustic touches makes the music perfect for our summer listening! 

So, what about the lyrics? I fell in love with Polachek’s beautiful writing from ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’, because she mixes the philosophical with the contemporary, which can be seen in the interesting lyric from her latest track, ‘Look at you all mythological / And Wikipediated’, which is a difficult line to interpret because it is such specific writing. Throughout the song, Polachek is constantly looking at the lover in front of her and describing how she wants to get close to them and explore them, perhaps making them the island? I really love the metaphor she uses of being closer than the person’s tattoo, very clever! This isn’t a classic love song, but it’s a Caroline Polachek love song, which means its meaningful, avant garde, and interesting! 

If the dampness and darkness of February is making you wish it was summer right now, then this is the perfect track to stick on and reminisce about fun summer memories, and hopefully Desire, I Want To Turn Into You will be popular all the way through to summer so that we can appreciate in a warmer climate! 

 ‘Blood and Butter’ is out now via Sony Music


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Editor in Chief 22/23 & Fundraising, Events, and Publicity Officer 21/22, and occasional Deputy Editor :)

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