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
The pithy princess of femme-pop on affable rather than thrilling form
Rocket-fuelled groove-jazzers take off into sonic space
Clowes' third album condenses and refines her exquisite control of instrumental colour
Leicester's finest may not be critical sweethearts but, in concert, they smash it
Newer songs have their subtleties quashed by the demands of rock's big tent
Compelling arrangements breath new life into classic material
A jazz festival finale of rare brilliance
An exciting new chapter in award-winning artist's development
Mind Fair take us for a wild, psychedelic ride on their debut album
Hypnotic acoustic Malian grooves for the closing day of the EFG London Jazz Festival
All-star Blue Note sextet brings the audience to its feet
Boyle's in fine vocal form, but sticks too closely to the path well trodden