The title of Polartropica’s debut album, due out tomorrow and available to stream below, makes clear where the local artist is in her career. Across the 10 tracks of Dreams Come True, and spanning all the songs, videos, and shows that have come before, Polartropica is bursting at the seams with joy and encouragement. And it feels like exactly that: a dream come true.
Née Ihui (say: eeway) Cherise Wu, Polartropica has roots in the Echo Park queer indie scene, having been embraced with open arms. And what’s not to love? Her appreciation for saccharine synthesizers is infectious and her dedication to positivity is inspiring. And you can experience her live show on March 14th at the Bootleg, where Polartropica will perform at Love is Gay Fest at the Bootleg Theater.
If you are not familiar with “In Another Life,” the opener on Dreams Come True, then you have not seen the brilliant Grease parody music video that accompanies it. When given the visual themes to accompany that song, the world of Polartropica begins to click into place. She exists in a technicolor discotheque, but instead of drugs and dingy neon lights, her hallmarks are an eager Casiotone and bright, neon-tinted hair and makeup.
Wu loves to play with vocal melodies, lifting and dropping her intonation as if lulling us deeper into a forest of lollipops. She straddles the line of kawaii pop and MGMT’s style of indie rock, layering synth over vocals over guitars over more synth. She reminds us that we are enough (“Can’t Hold Us Back”) and that we are loved (“Golden Soul”) and that we can attain all that we dream of (“Olympia”). Polartropica sure has.