The first thing worth noting is the fact that Polica do not front with a line-up we've ever seen in this interesting little indie-pop universe we bounce around in. There are no guitars, no keyboards...only two drummers, a bass player, and a singer. That's it...though we have read legend of a powerful sonic wizard hiding somewhere behind the curtain, triggering sounds and beats and mist and light. That of course is something we cannot confirm. All we know is, this inventive, somewhat mysterious Minneapolis collective is a self-described, "test-tube group", surgically put together by producer Ryan Olson to achieve a very specific vision.
That vision is dark and stormy. That vision is often sleek and sexy. That vision is dancy. That vision is also ripe with tension, as singer Channy Leaneagh recently told us. "We have this conflict between soft and smooth with obviously very harsh and intense sounds from two drummers and kind of some aggressive tones musically fighting with softer tones, sweeter sounding stuff". That vision is complex.
Back in June we had the chance to witness this cacophonous force when Polica invited us to capture a trio of tracks (from both their Raw Exit EP and the deluxe edition of last year's Shulamith) during a soundcheck held before a sold out performance at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. In session, the dichotomy Leaneagh describes is easy to hear. The heavy filling, drum and bass are jagged, as Leaneagh's vocals dive bomb in and out like some beautiful attack. Balancing things out are the band's futuristic swells of synth...the man who may or may not be lurking behind the curtain, it seems. Under a haze of red, blue, and violet shadows, Polica bring a unique world of sound to life. Inhabit it for a moment in this, our mystical new session with the group.