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Reinventing yourself - or perhaps showing a side to yourself that has always lurked beneath, simmering under the skin - after a lauded and/or successful first wave is no simple feat, but it can work wonders in capable hands. Johnny Borrell's solo jaunt notoriously, and deservedly, fell flatter than 10-day roadkill, but Leanne Macomber's fusing with Joel Ford as Ejecta has been an immersive, transcendent sonic experience. It's always a yank of the one-armed bandit to embark on fresh ventures, it's a fickle throw of the dice, a roulette pirouette. Can fans from your prior projects accept and embrace the transformation, or will your future endeavours never quite match up to former glories? It seems that Caroline Polachek of battle-scarred Brooklyn indie-poppers Chairlift is keen to discover her destiny as Ramona Lisa.

Donning her new guise, named after a pseudonym she used to use on Facebook, Polachek seeks to craft "pastoral electronic music" on her debut record Arcadia. Attempting to merge the electronic and organic worlds together exclusively using MIDI, and recorded by herself straight onto her laptop in locations like airports, cupboards and dressing rooms, she's created a concept album which uses love stories as allegories for nature. It's ambitious, somewhat haphazard in its DIY approach to meaty topics, and with all Polachek's scattered elements and ideas, much like trying to spin plates on teeny-weeny little sticks. However, in a rare turn of events, she manages to keep the porcelain steady. There's never any danger that she'll lose control or drop the ball (or plate, to stick with the metaphor).

Polachek strikes forth decisively to sculpt her own route and sound. The titular tune is darkwave ambience, fit to burst with moody, smoggy, medieval synth pads and variously pitched church bells. It's cinematic post-rock atmospheres muddled with spiritual, skeletal (mostly) a cappella pop singing, with an air of sanctity and purity. 'Hissing Pipes At Dawn' is purring electronica with dreamy soul chords and whirring neo-house glitches. 'Wing Of The Parapet' on first glance appears like a traditional folk cut, albeit glazed with synths, but towards the end of the track, it begins distorting and flickering like the TV in Poltergeist. When Polachek hurtles off towards the horizon with these new ideas, barrowloads of ambition in tow, she more often than not succeeds in whittling not only a spangly aural identity as Ramona Lisa, but also fantastic environments to dissolve into. The nature allegories may be harder to discern in the lyrics, but the essence of her message is evident within the music.

The noise doesn't always manage to stray miles from Chairlift's path though, with ditties like 'Dominic' bearing resemblance to an imperfectly mixed demo from Something. 'Lady's Got Gills' is more a hefty single than many notches of Arcadia, it's got bulbous bass and pulsating pace, with jittering primal rhythms and pop hooks - it's still not exactly Chairlift, but it's not closely related to the bucolic soundscapes the LP offers either. This is hardly a criticism as Chairlift wholeheartedly rock, but it's also worth noting.

Arcadia is an album festooned with knobbly nodules to probe and gawk at: go, get lost inside her throbbing worlds, the skewed electro-pop and carefully composed scenery. It's not a perfect record, and it does lack the ability to make you fall in love with it at first sight - it'll require a few listens for sure. Those hunting for more of Chairlift's succinct and precise indie-pop will leave deflated too. There's similar moments, but nothing substantial, and the moments while familiar, are at the fringes of Chairlifts musical spectrum. But, that should be moot, really, as this isn't a Chairlift record. It's Ramona Lisa's. As a debut foray into solodom, Polachek incisively elicits emotional responses. She's got a subtle approach to pop and a grand over-arcing m.o. more than piques curiosity. As far as solo jaunts go, this is one she should be immensely proud of. It's Macomberesque as opposed to Borrellian.

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