Song to Start Your Week

‘Ashes of Love’ by Danny L Harle ft. Caroline Polachek

A hyperpop bop for the post-syllabus week slump

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You may know her from her 2019 electro-pop album “Pang”, or from her cult-favorite music videos filled with witchy choreography, or maybe, just maybe, you’re discovering her right now in this article. Regardless, Caroline Polachek, previously made famous by her first band Chairlift, is finally getting the fame she deserves. 

But, I want to take a second to rewind four years to the track ‘Ashes of Love,’ a collaboration of extraordinary alignment. The song was engineered by Danny L Harle, a British producer under the avant-pop label PC Music who has worked with other popular artists like Carly Rae Jepsen and Clairo, and performed by Polachek, a musician from New York who has collaborated on countless hit projects with artists like Beyoncé, Travis Scott, Blood Orange, and Charli XCX. 

The two co-wrote ‘Ashes of Love’ to sound like “a super tragic Miami freestyle song.” Together, they managed to create a futuristic hidden gem, one that’s comparable to the DanceDanceRevolutionX2 remix of Cascada’s ‘Everytime We Touch’, yet you actually want to listen to it all the way through. And don’t even get me started on the music video that could easily be a deleted scene from “Blade Runner 2049.”

If I haven’t painted a good enough picture of the song yet, think of ‘Ashes of Love’ as an electronic anthem to keep you going after syllabus week. 

Somehow, in 2020, the track has held up better than expected and could now be placed within the realm of a growing genre called “hyperpop.” It is a strange combination of house, pop, indie, and hip-hop, where lyrics and melody are less important than the palpable experience of the songs. They are meant to be listened to loudly with good headphones or blasted through the surprisingly bass-heavy speakers of your Prius.

So, I encourage you to take a listen to this one-off hit by Polachek and Harle on your morning walk to class on a caffeine buzz, or late in your room while desperately trying to organize your things to find that one scarf you know you have before it snows. The repetitive and poetically vulnerable title line, “Release me from the lonely ashes of love / Ashes of love,” might even help you rise above cuffing season.

This is one song that shouldn’t be left behind in the new decade.

Reach writer Ellen Cooper at arts@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @ellenecooper

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