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Minneapolis continues its golden run of producing quality talent with the first project to arrive out the Gayngs collective, the super slick electronic pop-soul outfit Poliça.
Fronted by ice cool vocalist Channy Leanagh (who sang with Gayngs), produced by Ryan Olson and featuring Mike Noyce from Bon Iver, it’s a who’s who of the current Twin Cities scene.
Continuing the tradition of having friends in high places, with Prince and Kanye West among Gayngs fans, Poliça have already been backed by none other than Jay Z, who posted their video for the new for single ‘Lay Your Cards Out’ on his Life + Times blog.
The result is 11 perfectly formed auto-tuned songs that re-shape the intersection of pop and digitised R&B. And for all Poliça’s synthetic manipulation, Channy’s soft vocals and Ryan’s electronic soundscapes reveal a tender heart beneath, pulsating with life and raw emotion.
‘Give You The Ghost’ opens with the attention grabbing sonic of first track ‘Amongster’, the two drummers immediately coming into full effect as it builds to a heady mass of beats, bass and Channy’s wandering vocals. ‘Violent Games’ continues the heavy on the drums theme, with duelling beats that intensify to machine gun-like levels, led by Channy’s urgent and cyclical vocals.
Born out of the break-up of a recent relationship, the majority of ‘Give You The Ghost’ reflects the difficulty of facing up to your mistakes and making peace with them; an exorcism via exciting new musical possibilities. “The recurring theme of this record is ‘what in the hell just happened and who in the hell am I anyways,” says Channy. This redemptive mood is key for the track ‘Dark Star’. Backed by smooth brass breakdowns throughout and mid-tempo loping rhythms, it’s typical of Poliça’s often meditative content.
‘Lay Your Cards Out’ and the dreamy ‘Wandering Star’ both feature Mike Noyce of Bon Iver on vocals and are equally as deliciously funk laden as they are hypnotic, with more ratatat drums from Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson, propelling the lush arrangements and slinky bass, provided by Chris Bierden.
“Poliça deals in a type of R&B inflected electronic music that defies explanation... Music with this many synthetic textures and vocal treatments has rarely sounded so natural” - Spinner
“A swirly combination of layered rhythms, some awesomely manipulated vocals and a dragged-out, slow motion feel... the perfect soundtrack to an almost-winter weekend” - Nylon
“Ryan Olson and singer Channy Leanagh lead the group, Channy front and centre with her potently echoed voice riding over forward drums and driving bass” - The Fader
2. I See My Mother
3. Violent Games
4. Dark Star
6. The Maker
7. Lay Your Cards Out
8. Fist, Teeth, Money
9. Happy Being Fine
10. Wandering Star
11. Leading To Death