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Minneapolis combo Polica have been getting a lot of attention since their previous album ‘Give You The Ghost’ hit to widespread acclaim last year. We sold quite a lot of it but I never actually heard that album, so now I’m getting caught up on what the kids are into via their latest album ‘Shulamith’, which is here in a tempting indies-only red vinyl 2LP package.
This troupe, led by singer Channy Leaneagh and producer Ryan Olson, formerly of Gayngs, deal in a kind of soulful nocturnal synthpop with slick minimal beats and often unconventionally treated vocals. It’s quite sparse and sleepy, with shades of Dead Can Dance or O-Rod’s recent ‘Octopus Kool Aid’ synthpop venture, all silky blackness stretching into an impenetrable distance. The Knife and Niki and the Dove are other obvious points of reference but this tends to be cooler and more restrained, perhaps closer to The xx save the occasional outburst.
I’m enjoying the slick synthetic chug of the repetitive ‘Very Cruel’ - it’s when they settle into these cool and robotic and yet swooningly nonchalant grooves that they’re at their best, although at other times it can drift into a forgettable Dido-esque commercial pop trudge where I kind of feel like I’m waiting for the next interesting thing to happen. Even at its worst it’s pretty inoffensive, and there are a few flashes of undeniable excellence to keep you persevering, but whether Polica live up to the intimidating hype heaped on them is a matter of opinion.
10/10 GaryM 16th October 2013
Having only recently discovered Polica at a Sigur Ros gig, I have been spending hours listening to their debut album 'Give you the ghost'. Headphones a must!
So, I am somewhat overwhelmed to now be listening to Shulamith, their follow-up. Again, headphones add something special to the listen. I have never (in 46 years) heard such rich, deep sounds as on this album. The bass in particular will make your bones reverberate, in a very nice way.
The melodies are as strong as on the first album, but there is more complexity this time, the songs are just so deep. The vocals amaze me, a truly lovely voice in its bare form is distorted and reverbed and twisted, so that it is something of pure joy. With poignant lyrics too. All on their website.
I have just listened to it streaming all day, and now on headphones, and I have never heard anything like this before. Unique, totally unique. The future of music?
Have a listen, it's going to be huge.
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