Wednesday 25 April 2012

Poliça - Give You The Ghost

Slowly but surely Poliça are gathering an immense following.  Recently added to celebrity fans Jay-Z and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon are the festival crowds of Coachella and SXSW.  The release of this, their debut album, is sure to drum up immeasurable support.  Their unique sound takes elements of RnB, hip-hop and electronica in a whole new direction, with its melodic basslines, hypnotic drum patterns, darkly resonant synth pads and Channy Leaneagh's ghostly vocals.  Following a split from her husband, 'Give You The Ghost' is a deeply evocative breakup record that hits the core of this emotion.

There are two key components to the Poliça sound - the drums and Leaneagh's vocal.  The band distinctively have two drummers, creating a heavy emphasis on percussion.  As such, they're able to flip from a subtle patter into an eruption of crashing cymbals and thundering snares.  Debut single Lay Your Cards Out epitomises this perfectly with its constant, nuanced crescendo.  Leaneagh's vocal is characterised by the use of vocoder and reverb effects, but don't let that put you off.  The lyrics are often incomprehensible, but the overall effect is as haunting as the album's title would have you believe.  Whilst the densely processed vocals often drift into the overall texture of the music, they're an integral part of the band's appeal.

Following Lay Your Cards Out, Dark Star is the obvious choice for the next single.  Less dreamy than the other tracks, it offers more of a hook-laden punch and the use of brass adds a funk element that counterpoints the ghostly delivery of the chorus lyric "Ain't no man in this world who can pull me down from my dark star".  Elsewhere, the band stick stoically to their sound with Lay Your Cards Out as the album's centrepiece.  Whilst this does border on repetitive, their unique sound has an utterly mesmeric effect that lifts them above the competition - from the oscillating, distorted synths of opener Amongster to the funk-tinged bass of closing track Leading To Death.

Poliça positively ooze cool and 'Give You The Ghost' is an album at the forefront of popular music development.  Expect plenty of copycats in the next few months.


Gizzle's Choice:
* Amongster
* Dark Star
* Lay Your Cards Out

Listen: 'Give You The Ghost' is available now.

Poliça will tour the US next month, hitting UK shores in June.