New Music Releases: Valentine’s Day 2023

Valentine’s Day had some wonderful releases with a few notable ones from Caroline Polachek, Chase Petra, and Lana Del Rey


Photo courtesy of Chase Petra, Lana Del Rey, Caroline Polachek

Layne Groom, Editor-in-Chief

Desire, I Want To Turn Into You – Caroline Polachek

They say you can’t rush perfection, and that’s exactly what Caroline Polachek’s sophomore album Desire, I Want To Turn Into You is. This 12 track LP is filled with an array of different sounds that push the boundaries of pop music far into the future. 

In July 2021 Polachek released the single “Bunny Is A Rider” which received a sizable amount of attention especially amongst critics making the top of Pitchfork’s top 100 songs of the year list. At the time of its release she said that the song would be part of a future project. Then the tracks “Billions” and “Sunset” were released in 2022 which are also featured on the new album. And the final single “Welcome To My Island” was released on December 5, which came with the official announcement of the album. 

Right from the start we hear Polachek’s high range vocalises taking us straight into the album. This trend stays true with almost every song on the album, like on the bridge of the  tranquil dance track “I Believe” or backtracking on the outro of “Butterfly Net.” These emotional voicings unattached to lyrics add a grand, filling feeling to the LP. 

To perfectly match it’s Valentine’s Day release, the overwhelming theme expressed across the record is desire. Polachek implements this feeling all over the songwriting with simple lines like, “I don’t know but I believe / We’ll get another day together.” Then it is also present among some of her most creative songwriting to date, on the bridge of “Butterfly Net” Polachek sings: 

Oh if only

The umbrella of the sky

Could wrap us up and up

That’s where I’d zoom in close

Dilated as your eyes

But till then I’ll keep it brief

This release is not only a huge step up from her 2019 release Pang but it also proves that Polachek will be one of the artists that will lead the way of pop music for years to come.

‘Reliable Narrator’ – Chase Petra

The pop-rock group from Long Beach, California, Chase Petra, released their new emo-inspired single “Reliable Narrator”. Right away the inspiration from acts such as Panic at the Disco! and Paramore can be heard on this track. However, the uniqueness and power of frontwoman Hunter Allen’s voice drive the song and make it stand out in the densely packed genre. The song switches between guitar heavy, powerchord pop-rock hooks and subtle verses led by the bass, played by Brooke Dickson whos best known for her career with The Regrettes, and drums, played by Evan Schaid. The song touches on the idea of believing in yourself despite what others are saying, you are a “reliable narrator.” 

This release comes right after a North American tour the band did in late 2022 and the release of their 4 o’clock in the afternoon EP which came out last April.

The song was released with a music video that can be watched here:

‘A&W’ – Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey released the 7 minute track ‘A&W’, the second single off of her upcoming ninth studio album, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, which is scheduled to release on March 24, 2023. This epic length track resonates classic Lana Del Rey songwriting with anecdotal americana lyrics. One of the producers on the album, Jack Antonoff, said on Instagram, “this is my favorite we’ve ever done” in reference to the single. 

The first 4 minutes of the song play as a ballad led by acoustic guitars and a light piano in the background which switch to an cold-electronic bass-driven synth-pop closure. The lyrics of the second half of the track come in a repetitive daze, referencing the Little Anthony and the Imperials’ hit from 1960, “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop.”

With two solid tracks released and plenty of features lined up for the record, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd is looking to be another fantastic record from Lana Del Rey.