Wednesday, February 15, 2012

REVIEW: Poliça - Give You the Ghost

This year is proving to be a good one for musical surprises. Minneapolis' Poliça wasn't on my list of bands to cover a week ago. But when the album Give You the Ghost hit my inbox, I listened. Then I listened again. And again. The next day KEXP's influential DJ (and former Minneapolis resident) Kevin Cole played a track. While I feel confident about my taste, it is nice to have confirmation.

What is the music of Poliça? It is grounded in post-punk, blues and jazz, but infused with synthesizers and layers of vocal effects. And it features prominent bass and percussion. Try album opener, "Amongster" --

Poliça is a quartet consisting of singer/songwriter Channy Leaneagh (formerly Casselle), Chris Bierden on bass, Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu both on drums. Ryan Olson of Gayngs co-produced Give You the Ghost with Jim Eno of Spoon. Apparently Olson is a behind the scenes composer for the group as well.

"Lay Your Cards Out"

The songs on the album cover a bit of landscape. You may hear a bit of Portishead, Bjork or Flaming Lips. But it all ties together with the emphasis on rhythm and sonic texture, and Casselle's voice. As noted by other writers, she uses Auto-Tune. However, the use of Auto-Tune on this album demonstrates that the device can be used in to enhance, rather than distract from, the listener's enjoyment of the music.

"Violent Games"

Give You the Ghost is out this week on Totally Gross National Product. It is a promising debut, and we'll look forward to more from Poliça.

Twitter ( @thisispolica )

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