Cocteau Twins, The Weeknd, Gayngs
For a relatively new band, Poliça have arrived at a singular, evolved aesthetic that can alternate between spare and symphonic, but tied together with a tangible sexiness throughout. In fact, the super sexy video for the reverb-y “Amongster” from their new LP Give You The Ghost (Memphis Industries) could alternately be titled “Sex In The Dirt”. The single “Lay Your Cards Out” may be most emblematic of their sound, built on a heady foundation of big bass thrums and a deceptively complex arrangement of beats produced by two drummers. This is the platform upon which elfine lead singer Channy Leaneagh’s warped, space-y, atmospheric, electrified and autotuned lyrics rise, expand and soar. On much of the album, her vocals almost completely dissolve amidst various effects and tiny waves of synthesizer, as on the awesome “First Teeth Money”. The drum work on Give You The Ghost is pronounced enough to be rap-able: the right MC could murder these beats. Perhaps like The xx, Poliça’s songs are also ripe for remixing -- like many bands these days, the path to a larger audience may lie on the dancefloor. We concur with an astute anonymous blog commenter, though, who pleaded: “Please don’t make this dubstep.”
Poliça (pronounced poe-lisa, Polish for “policy”) was born out of a collaboration with Ryan Olson, the production mastermind behind superband Gayngs and other Minneapolis-based acts like Digitata and Solid Gold. In 2010, Olson was searching for the right team to surround Leaneagh, who’d recently left her previous folk-rock project and who contributed vocals to Olson-produced Gayngs’ LP Relayted. That team turned out to be drummers Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu and bassist Chris Bierden, talented vets of various Twin Cities-based bands also searching for a North Star. Olson’s vision was prescient: Poliça generated enough buzz to prompt an early release of Give You The Ghost, have been name-dropped by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Jay-Z, and are embarking on a North American and European tour of their own this summer.