Poliça album review

Poliça was born from the indie/RnB gang, Gayngs. The latest project from producer Ryan Olson teams him up with soulful singer Channy Leaneagh and the electro sounds and vocals of Mike Noyce from Bon Iver. A fine line-up indeed, and the debut album lives up to expectations.

The record, created shortly after Leaneagh’s divorce, deals with that feeling of post-break-up emptiness and does so through dizzying, auto-tuned, RnB-inspired electro. At times it plays out like digital jazz in its structure, whereas elsewhere it has the echoey denseness of something like TV On The Radio.

Album opener, Amongster, displays Leaneagh’s intriguing vocal. It is pretty and honeyed yet the way it loops, layers and overlaps means that often the lyrics are hidden and only certain words and phrases are presented to the listener. This deliberately disorientating technique is employed throughout and, on this first track, is complimented by increasingly frantic beats and drums. Violent Games continues this theme yet replaces wooziness for urgency. Elsewhere, the horns and bleeps of Dark Star meld together and the funky elements of Wandering Star are embellished with ratatat drums. Meanwhile, Happy Be Fine is anything but, and reveals a certain Portishead-like edge to Poliça’s sound.

Considering the album is so deliberately and meticulously produced and auto-tuned, its textures are weaved together absolutely beautifully. The result is a recording that has the warmest heart trying to beat its way through a cold exterior. It’s like being kept at arm’s length and hugged all at the same time. Ultimately, Give You The Ghost will both require and deserve many revisits.


Review by Bobby Townsend