AOTY 2021
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‘PANG’ marks the beginning of a new chapter and confirms its position as one of the most singular, captivating records of the year.
The Line of Best Fit

Pang is a remarkable debut album assured of its legitimacy and brilliance, one that should be celebrated for its shimmering beauty and the success of its authorial intent.

Northern Transmissions

Whereas Arcadia and Drawing the Target felt like experiments, in theatrical pop and minimal synth, respectively, Pang has arrived fully-formed. It is sometimes symphonic and operatic, sometimes poppy and danceable, and wholly arresting.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Polachek’s range, her penchant for leaving her gasps and deep breaths in her vocal tracks, her carefully thought-over phrasing — these tie Pang together into one very earwormy book of spells.


With 2019's Pang, her first album released under her own name, Polachek further distills her approach with a collection of deeply emotive songs that showcase her delicate vocals and intricate pop sensibilities.


An immense, nearly overwhelming spaciousness takes over Pang, which is intricately produced and layered with resplendent, crystalline trinkets of noise and sound unspooling around Polachek, whose vocals, immaculate and exacting, are amplified and crushed by reverb and vocoder.

Bold and brazen – a yearning pang in sonic form – this album is a concentration of Polachek’s previous releases. She’s combined the joy of Chairlift, the atmospheric mastery of Ramona Lisa and the experimentalism of CEP. The result is a Caroline Polachek record in its most distilled and fully realised form.
It is great to see Caroline Polachek giving a go at being an independent pop artist, and this album makes it feasible that she one day becomes a household name in the genre.
The Guardian

Overall, Pang is a vivid and melodious portrait of a restless heart.

The Needle Drop

It's hard to deny just how sweet, cleanly produced, and fantastical the bulk of Pang is.

The 405

The former Chairlift singer maintains her creative synth-based pop proclivities, but opens up her personal life in more gut-punching ways than we've heard from Polachek before.

The Young Folks

Pang introduces itself a little too quietly to be completely satisfying. However, once you give the album some time and understand its singular rhythms, there are treasures to be found there.

The former Chairlift singer-songwriter centers her sweeping solo debut on her powerful voice, crafting love songs about the moment of surrender, the pain preceding it, and the euphoria after.
No Ripcord

Best listened to sad and lonely in your bedroom, Pang is the perfect dance album for smart and sensitive boys and girls after their day’s journaling are done.

The Observer

Polachek remains too much of a class act, a little too wedded to conventional beauty on songs like Look At Me Now, to really take her pop to the bleeding edge.


An album this tepid--which is to say, not completely tepid, but tepid enough--from a talent that immense, though, can only register as a minor failure. She can do better.

After finally giving this album the attention and time it deserves, I have concluded it to be my favorite album of 2019 this far. Not even close.
If PANG were a museum exhibit, it would be one large room with one central piece, Caroline's vocals. While the vocal centerpiece is impressive on its own, it's beauty is accentuated by the lush production throughout the album's runtime, which would act as the lighting for the exhibit, showing the piece's curves and imperfections, but ultimately ... read more
Caroline Polachek has a distinct fingerprint in the pop world. She is a presence that has always added to a project rather than distract. She knows her voice well and wields it like a master swordsman. On Pang, Polachek is exposed and vulnerable. She narrates her insecurities through songs that bend reality into new and fantastic shapes. She escapes her nightmares through bright melodies and delectable bops. As someone who allows insidious doubts to fill my head, Polachek's debut is a friendly ... read more
It all started with an iPod Nano advert. What was just a experimental pop group formed during her art school days in 2006, Caroline Polachek is built to become a pop star, or more. The front woman of now disbanded indie pop act Chairlift and side projects (Ramona Lisa and CEP), she finally came through a debut brimming with daring and defiant work of refreshing proportions with her distinctive vocal style and contemporary kind of pop experimentation that shines through the half hour run-time. ... read more
While Caroline Polachek may have not exactly reinvented the wheel on her debut solo album, a lot of her work on Pang feels quintessential as she brings forth some of the most fun, endearing, and creative pop tracks I've heard in the past few years. Ranging in styles from a more PC Music sound to anything with more new wave tinges to even trip hop, all of Pang is propelled by Caroline's beautiful voice and it rarely ends up faltering.

Favorites: So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings, Hit Me Where ... read more
one of the banger albums for this month. her voice isso holy! the end track says it all. 😍😍😍

• new normal
• hit me where it hurts
• insomnia
• ocean of tears
• hey big eyes
• go as a dream
• caroline shut up
• door
• parachute
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Added on: July 24, 2019