Caroline Polachek Headlines This Weeks Must-See Acts

Caroline Polachek on Friday at The Independent, Radical Face on Saturday at August Hall and 070 Shake on Wednesday at The Independent.

Art pop

Caroline Polachek

8:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31, at The Independent. $15;

As a seasoned veteran in the music industry, Caroline Polachek’s newest album Pang is a deconstruction of pop music’s history, blending sonic elements from multiple decades into a wholly idiosyncratic sound, and Polachek’s impressively versatile vocal talent along with harrowing lyricism gives the album’s crystalline exterior an exposed human heart. Polachek’s initial endeavor into music came when she founded the indie pop group Chairlift while attending college, gaining considerable international attention with their bubbly hit 2008 single “Bruises.” Polachek would continue to operate in multiple spheres of the music industry, collaborating with Beyoncé for her 2014 single “No Angel,” and releasing experimental gothic pop under the moniker Ramona Lisa that same year. After Chairlift disbanded in 2017, Polachek would collaborate with avant-pop artists Charli XCX and Felicita, along with releasing a solo ambient album titled Drawing the Target Around the Arrow. On Pang, Polachek collaborates with PC Music’s A.G. Cook and Danny L Harle, whose surreal take on traditional pop music meshes well with Polachek’s often self-reflective lyricism. 

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Radical Face

7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, at August Hall. $27;

Soft-spoken with a heavy-heart, Radical Face is the alias of Ben Cooper, a compelling songwriter who is best known for his acclaimed 2007 concept album Ghost, in addition to other thematically rich and intricate releases that echo ambitious folk endeavors like Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. In honor of Ghost’s anniversary, the Jacksonville-based musician has released a deluxe reissue that includes reinterpretations of the album’s tracks in addition to a brand new remastered version of the original album. Apart from celebrating Ghost’s legacy, Radical Face released their newest EP Therapy last year, which represents a new direction for the band’s sound. Flourished with crisp synths and warm guitar accents, Therapy is a more direct pop record than anything Radical Face has done before, as opening track “Doubt” is a catchy yet melancholic introduction bolstered by an emphatic chorus. The brief yet dense Therapy reaffirms that Cooper’s deeply sentimental and effective songwriting prowess continues to operate at a high level.

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070 Shake

7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 5, at The Independent. $18;

A vehement new force, 070 Shake is a singer and rapper who boasts an exquisitely spacious voice that pierces the listener’s emotions as the artist wears her heart on her sleeve. Originally a member of New Jersey’s 070 crew, Shake’s initial breakthrough came in 2016 with the vicious single “Trust Nobody,” which led to her being signed by Def Jam-affiliated label Getting Out Our Dreams Inc. Shake would release her hazy and kaleidoscopic debut EP Glitter in 2018 to glowing critical reception, as the EP displays Shake’s sprawling creative range. The same year saw Shake appear on Pusha T’s Daytona on “Santeria,” and Kanye West’s ye on “Ghost Town,” the latter of which many listeners considered the best track on the album thanks to Shake’s haunting yet gorgeous vocal additions. On Modus Vivendi, Shake’s recently released debut album, the artist’s audible emotional vulnerability results in a poignant journey that is elevated by Shake’s refreshing sense of creating moody atmospheres. 

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