18th October | Thekla
It’s hard to describe Poliça‘s sound in just one word, an exciting clash of synth-pop, angsty indie rock and techno, this dynamic four piece from Minneapolis have been quietly but confidently sending ripples of genius through the world of electronica since the release of their tantalisingly dark and seductive 2012 album Give You The Ghost.
United Crushers comes from a different place than Poliça’s previous 2 albums; politically driven and feisty yet still resonates intense emotion. Straight into new material, the night starts with ‘Berlin’ followed by ‘Wedding’ and ‘Lime Heart’; a perfect balance of cataclysmic, mysterious electronica that also provided a light at the end of the tunnel. Vocal led in the verses, an almost Fleetwood Mac-esque penetrative drum beat took over sparking a sudden sense of hope, an emotion not all that apparent in the majority of their songs.
Channy Leaneagh’s voice is more noticeable than ever, stripped back and simplified. Once described as “a heavily digitised Norah Jones”, Leaneagh proves that with or without the use of autotune her voice remains the glue that keeps the band together. It was refreshing to hear such clarity in her words almost signifying a more mature side to the band’s deeply emotive leading lady.
Half way through the set the atmosphere in the room changed and a wave of excitement surged through the crowds. As the distinct polyphonic chime of ‘Chain My Name’ electrified the room, Poliça were signifying a revisit to some of their older material. ‘Dark Star’ and ‘Warrior Lord’ were received with the same enthusiasm, whilst the mood got darker once again for trip hoppy ‘Lay Your Cards Out’, which saw the couples move closer and people move slower for this emphatically sultry number.
The constant fluidity and togetherness of the guitarist, bassist and impressively, two drummers makes it easy to forget that the ever changing punching bass lines and hyperactive drum fills are delivered on live instruments played with computer like precision. And whilst Leaneagh does unintentionally grasp the limelight, her unorthodox band are a force to be reckoned with, each as talented as the other.
The night ended with an upbeat, housey remix of ‘Kind’ followed by the much slower ‘Lose You’ which had the crowd erupting in one final applause. Poliça thanked her band and the crowd for coming before exiting the stage leaving the crowd in a frenzy of clapping.