Caroline Polachek: “Dang”

Caroline Polachek’s “Dang” is an eccentric, dizzyingly self-referential spectacle that winks at her penchant for theatrics, like screaming at geese in Hyde Park. Over a metallic, lockstep beat that recalls early SOPHIE, she once again strings together nonsensical imagery, namechecking Mary Poppins and lamenting spilt milk. Violins cascade. A muffled sample worms into your ears. Polachek’s deadpan yet insistent “dang” dots the track throughout. And then she hits you with that scream. Just when you thought she was done with the surprises, the unmistakable baby giggle from “Bunny Is a Rider”—that of Nico Harle, co-producer Danny L Harle’s young daughter—makes a reprise in the closing seconds. “Dang” is notably starker than most of Polachek’s other work and more beguiling, a pile-up of clues that gesture toward a new mystery.