Last month, on Valentine’s Day, the art-pop star Caroline Polachek released her album Desire, I Want To Turn Into You. The LP opens with the single “Welcome To My Island,” a track that both beguiles and menaces. Sing-speaking over a percolating beat, Polachek welcomes us to her island and informs us that we’re never leaving: “Go forget the rules, forget your friends/ Just you and your reflection.”
Last night, Caroline Polacheck performed “Welcome To My Island” on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, and the only people visible onstage were Polachek and her reflection. Polachek didn’t give a traditional late-night performance. Instead, her rendition of that track felt more like a scene from an arty, druggy horror movie. Polachek looked like a star — striking hard poses and staring down the camera, with strange sunburn patterns painted on her skin. She also looked like she might eat your soul.
Polachek’s performance was lit to make it look like she was floating in a black void, with only her reflection in the polished stage underneath her. Sometimes, she was strobe-lit. Near the end of the performance, Polachek vanished and then reappeared with a guitar, ready to play the song’s solo. Polachek’s publicist writes in to tell us that the guitar in question is “a one of a kind 1980s Gibson Corvus prototype from Gibson vault.” The whole performance is extremely striking and memorable, and you can watch it below.
Desire, I Want To Turn Into You is out now on Perpetual Novice.