Saturday, 24 March 2012

Poliça - Lay Your Cards Out

With commendations from Justin Vernon of Bon Iver ("They're the best band I've ever heard") and Jay-Z, Poliça certainly have high expectations to aim for.  The band, originally from Minneapolis, was set up by producer and collaborator Ryan Olson and vocalist Channy Leaneagh and in only a year have garnered all the right sort of attention.

The musical style of Poliça seems an odd fit for Leaneagh, originally lead vocalist in folk-rock band Roma di Luna, whose now auto-tuned vocals are the main focus of the band's work.  For Olson this is very much a continuation of his previous neo-soul project Gayngs and their album 'Relayted'.  Lay Your Cards Out is the first single from upcoming album 'Give You The Ghost' (pictured), its darkly evocative style typical of their work at large.

Poliça's sound may stem from RnB, but with elements of electro and trip-hop the band have created a sound that is all their own.  Part avant-garde RnB, part slow-motion techno, it's like a fusion of The Weeknd's expansive, noirish layered production with School of Seven Bell's dreamy, ghostly electro.  That the band has two drummers comes as no surprise considering the heavily percussive sound, which reaches a climactic peak in the track's final third.  Amongst the swirls of layered synths and melodic basslines is Leaneagh's vocal, so heavily processed it's treated as another instrument in the mix and takes on an otherworldly character.  The effect is mesmeric.

Leaneagh embarked on this musical endeavour after splitting from her husband and fellow Roma di Luna member Alexei Casselle - "I was looking for an intense release and a creative release to get away and escape to a different reality".  And through music like Lay Your Cards Out, we too are able to escape with her.


Listen: Lay Your Cards Out is released on 26th March in anticipation of their upcoming album 'Give You The Ghost' released on 23rd April.