The Dark, Sexy Sound of Minneapolis' Polica

Posted by Rachael McGovern, August 1, 2012 06:36pm | Post a Comment

A good friend of mine from Minneapolis introduced me to a local band called Poliça earlier this year via a performance video from Minnesota public radio station The Current. I loved the song (the name "Wandering Star" also caught my attention as it's the name of one of my favorite Portishead songs), but what really got my attention was the double drummers!

But I have to admit I didn't follow through to discover more about the band until I went back to Minnesota this spring. I heard Poliça on the radio there and responded to the music again, this time vowing to listen to the whole album when I came home. Which I did, on repeat.

The band consists of vocalist Channy Leaneagh (formerly Channy Casselle), bassist Chris Bierden and drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson. But the other important person involved with the band is not technically a band member. Instrumentalist Ryan Olson, who was in Gayngs with Leaneagh, helped shape the band from its very start. The two started working on songs together, with Olson providing electronic beats and Leaneagh singing the melodies, even before there were actual words and lyrics. Then Olson brought in Beirden to lay down bass lines, and contacted Ivascu and Christopherson about being the new band's drummers. Together, they became Poliça.

A few things strike you right away when you listen to their music. One is that Leaneagh's vocals are manipulated by effects pedals and auto-tune, which she says adds drama and allows her voice to be viewed more as an instrument. The second, is the overall mood of the album - dark, slightly aggressive, and beautiful. And slinky, if that could be considered a mood. See the video for "Lay Your Cards Out" as an example.

Poliça have just signed to Mom+Pop which is re-releasing their debut album Give You The Ghost on August 14. When you buy the re-release, you'll also get the new Dark Star Remix EP, which features remixes by Gardens & Villa, Exitmusic and others.

Even better, Poliça is touring this month, including performing at Lollapalooza. They'll be in San Francisco August 20 at The Independent (which is sold out already) and in Los Angeles August 21 at the Echoplex (you can get tickets here). From what I've heard, their live shows are something amazing to experience. I can't wait to see it live for myself!

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Minneapolis (2), Polica (3), Gayngs (1), Mom+pop Records (1), Give You The Ghost (1), Echoplex (10), Lollapalooza (1)