Caroline Polachek Releases Haunting New Single, “Billions”
On February 9th, pop icon Caroline Polachek released her latest single, “Billions.” A haunting, “sprawling, kaleidoscopic odyssey,” “Billions” sees Polachek team up with London’s Trinity Choir for a transcendent ode to feeling lost in the world. Though completely different from her 2021 single “Bunny Is A Rider” (which you can read our review of here), “Billions” calls back to the more psychedelic and operatic tracks on Polachek’s debut album, PANG.
On the record, Polachek has said: “The overabundance of this world overwhelms me. Sometimes it seems like ultimate tragedy, the earth being pillaged and destroyed for it. Sometimes it seems pre-human, beyond morality, sublime. I don’t pick sides, I just live here, with you. How does it feel, being so rich?”
The song itself is beautiful and lush, full of atmospheric synthesizers, piano, and natural percussion. As always, though, Polachek’s voice is the defining factor of her music. Every chance she gets, she’ll showcase her wide vocal range, and “Billions” is no exception. In the second verse, she goes to her lower register, and then almost immediately jumps back to her upper register. Her vocal gymnastics are astounding, and this track has some of her finest vocal work.
That’s not even mentioning the music video, co-directed by Polachek and Matt Copson. While wine is a central motif – Polachek is seen gathering grapes, stomping them, and later pouring several glasses of wine – the most important visual moment comes when the Trinity Choir begins to come in on the recording. In subtitles, Polachek and Copson have written:
“The earthly cord was cut, and we are orphans in the universe. Thunder is no longer the voice of God. Lightning is no longer a moralizing missile. Knowledge is no longer shaped like a snake. What’s left of the alphabet is deep underground, in places without faces. Everything we want will require unfathomable violence, but contradictions are nothing new. The youness is the newness.”
What this means, I can only speculate. However, for me, it represents the start of a discussion on human nature and how we can relate to others when there are literally billions of others in the world. Again, though, that’s just speculation.
Check out the music video for “Billions” below, and be sure to give it some listens on the streaming service of your choice as well! Caroline Polachek is officially back, and it is time to celebrate. Let us know what you think!