After two albums of waifish folk pop (with a distinctly European flair, perhaps due to vocalist Tanja Frinta’s Viennese accent or the band’s pan-European makeup), Lonely Drifter Karen beefs it up a bit. The group now turns out music that's more densely layered and decidedly more pop (Asian, ‘60s-style, electro-flavored, and more) than folk. The band wisely shows restraint where it may have been tempting to ratchet things up with bolder synths, guitars, or more powerful vocals, but Poles—Lonely Drifter Karen's third full-length—holds onto the otherworldly dreamscape feeling that's often at the core of its songs. The brisk, sparkling “Three Colors Red” features a pristine harpsichord riff, with Frinta’s voice feeling as sticky and radio-friendly as Suzanne Vega's or Aimee Mann’s did a few years back. Surely, somewhere, this tune is in rotation and filling “progressive” radio airwaves. Speaking of decades past, “Comet” spins slowly out of a faintly ‘80s tableaux, but there's something inarguably contemporary in its cool guitar plucking, languid beats, and late-night sexiness; it’s one definite high spot among many.