CD: Poliça – Give You the Ghost | New music reviews, news & interviews
CD: Poliça – Give You the Ghost
Move over Lana Del Rey, you’ve been outdone
Poliça aren’t lacking support. Jay Z posted one of their videos on his blog. Prince turned up to check out their live debut. Bon Iver's Mike Noyce sings on a couple of Give You the Ghost’s tracks. For an outfit whose debut album is only just getting its UK release (it was issued in the States in February), Poliça have got the jump on most contenders. They’ve also got an added leg up by having their origins in hip Minneapolis collective Gayngs. Most importantly, Give You the Ghost is great.
Like Gayngs, Poliça – Polish for policy – aren’t a band. Both are projects drawing together producers and musicians. Poliça are producer Ryan Olsen’s vehicle for vocalist Channy Leanagh. He is Gayngs’s prime mover. She sang for them. The overt 10CC references defining Olsen’s previous outings have been ditched in favour of a super-smooth, R&B sheen. Leanagh’s treated voice is like oil.
All this is initially a bit off-putting. Something this deliberate, this crafted has to be a either a bit soulless or suspect? That said, most of today’s R&B/urban hits are peppered with millions of credits. But in the indie world? Moments after sticking Give you the Ghost on, the niggling doubts fade away. The album opens with “Amongster”, a drifting slice of mystery that leans towards the ghostliness of Fever Ray as much as R&B. It sets the table for a series of vaporous excursions with pulsing rhythms. Leanagh’s auto-tuned voice sounds like it’s coming through from a distant radio station. The spectre of Lana Del Rey beams in. This is the more subtle, less explicit and more satisfying counterpart to her Born to Die.
Watch the video for Poliça’s “Amongster”
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
American institution returns to the Seventies again
A powerful, genre-defying debut album from the shape-shifting ensemble
Kid-friendly festival has an audience as eclectic as the line-up
Booker T Jones' set of Sixties hits wows the crowd - but is Damon Albarn's new solo material a touch too subtle to headline?
Fink's latest is a mixed bag of the inspired and aerated
Thompson goes solo for a deft career retrospective
Belated recognition for a unique singer-songwriter
More top-drawer nostalgia from the prolific Scotsman
Rising London electronic duo don't quite match their hype
Elly Jackson has matured musically in her absence: but is that for the best?
Vivid and wide-ranging tribute to New Orleans musical traditions
An album that aches with a spiritual yearning by this singular artist