The Musician's Musician
If there’s one musician who never ceases to amaze us, it’s Chairlift
’s 27-year-old Caroline Polachek. Something
, her and bandmate Patrick Wimberly’s most recent album, is packed with inventive tracks aided by a stunning cacophony of unexpected sounds, making it one of the most hauntingly beautiful records of 2012. But, she’ll have no problem living up to (and exceeding) expectations with the duo’s next album, which is already proving to be majestic. Spending her days recording in a studio built inside an abandoned pharmaceutical factory — “I've been wearing scrubs, just to be in harmony with the building's original function” — she’s back at what she does best: forging originality through music (though her eclectic wardrobe — unitards, anyone? — doesn't hurt the process, either). “It's exciting to finally have enough experience that we can make recordings sound the way we want on our own terms,” she explained. Excuse us, while we begin counting down the days.
What are you doing with your life and career right now?
“After spending 2012 circling the planet twice, touring our second album, and a month or so holed up in Montreal over the winter to catch my breath, my bandmate, Patrick Wimberly and I are working on the third Chairlift record. Aside of Chairlift, I've been collaborating with a few other artists, which I can't announce just yet, doing both songwriting and contributing vocals. And then, on my own time, I've been working on an electronic solo album since last spring, which I'm fully producing myself and hoping to release before the end of 2013. I've been performing these songs under made-up names and incognito, so that I can try things out without it being connected to anything else I'm doing, but, eventually, I'll properly unleash it when it feels ready to publicly put my name on.”
Tell us the true-life tale of the last completely awesome thing you did.
"Ate breakfast! It was fantastic: toast with ricotta, marmalade, and basil. A kiwi, sliced into four parts, eaten with the skin — washed, of course. And French-press coffee with half-and-half! It was completely awesome.”
Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the
”Frankly, I'm really curious to see how long I can keep getting away with this. So far, it's been building very naturally — with intense dedication, of course, but also luck — and I suppose it'll naturally transition into things like art direction, songwriting, scoring — but really, everything about my ‘career’ till this point has been a surprise, so my only solid plan is to prepare to be surprised. And not make any compromises. Regardless, I will be making music and songs till I'm very, very old. I have that to look forward to.”
If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
”Hmm, maybe Beyoncé and Jay-Z's baby, Blue Ivy Carter. Because I might be the youngest person to get an episode of Cribs
What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
”I was a late bloomer, shrimpy with big ears, terrible time management, a propensity for staying up all night reading or listening to the radio under the covers, obsessed with cats and musicals, into solo sports like horseback riding, skiing, and ice-skating — things that were rhythmic and elegant, and where my own discipline and focus was the playing field. I don't have the time or money for those sports, anymore, but that love for rhythm and elegance will always be with me.”
When you were a kid, what did you think you'd be doing at this age?
”I imagined I'd be a biologist, or some kind of scientist. Of course, I was obsessed with art and music, but didn't imagine that there was any sort of life in it for me. Even while being in seven music ensembles my senior year of high school, I still assumed that I'd end up in science. Turned out, I ended up making pop music, where there are NO right or wrong answers, nobody gets a lab coat or even business cards, and where new ideas are the currency. Ha! Hi mom! If my childhood self could see me now though, I would be psyched out of my mind.”
A perfect day in your town always includes these three things...
"A taxi ride over the bridge into Manhattan — with windows down — some kind of discovery, and dinner with someone I love. Ugh, I'm such a cheese ball, but it's true.”
Styled by Laura Pritchard, Hair by Bethany Brill, Makeup by Tiffany Patton. Look 1: Vintage orange crop sweater; Vintage green overalls; J.Crew black belt, $32.50, similar style available at J.Crew; Repetto camo T-strap shoe; Lady Grey silver cuff; Species by the Thousands ring. Look 2: Custom black catsuit; Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre scarf; Jill Stuart Geraldine Suede Pumps, $436, available at Shopbop;
Lady Grey silver cuff; Species by the Thousands ring.