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Poliça (electronic music)

Updated on May 8, 2012


Poliça is a Minneapolis, Minnesota based art-rock band comprised of Channy Leaneagh, Chris Bierden, Ben Ivascu, and Drew Christopherson. Their initial notice was sparked by the groups affiliation, via the musical collective Gayngs, with the Grammy award winning indie group Bon Iver, whose singer, Justin Vernon, claimed that Poliça is “the best band I’ve ever heard.” The band states that their name was derived from the Polish words for “urgent action” and “policy.” They have received consistently positive reviews of their music, which is somewhat difficult to classify. Their sound has elements of dance, synth, electronica, and R&B and features heavily auto-tuned vocals. The Internet music application Spotify notes Canadian singer Grimes as a closely related artist, and the similarities are notable.

The band’s debut album, Give You the Ghost, was released in February of 2012. It received a rating of 7.6 from Pitchfork writer Josh Love, who called the music “coolly hypnotic,” but lamented the overall production’s tendency to overemphasize the auto-tuned vocal at the expensive of the rhythm section, which he noted “is afforded a fluidity and freedom typically only witnessed in jazz or funk spheres.” Dan Hyman, writing for Rolling Stone, also noted Leaneagh’s “heavily distorted vocals” in his positive review of Give You the Ghost, and the magazine itself gave the album 3 1/2 stars (out of five) in a capsule review by Andrew Flanagan.

Poliça recently played at the famed South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin , Texas, where they were well received. Chris Riemenschneider, writing for the Star Tribune, noted that the band went “all in” during their opening set, with “fans crammed near the front of the stage and more of a crowd watching from outside the club’s window.”

There’s quite a bit to like about Poliça’s freshman effort. With repeated listening, the synth and 1980’s R&B elements begin to emerge more prominently, yet rarely at the expense of the chilly modern dance beat. As said before, comparisons to Canadian electronic music provocateur Grimes are apt, though they remain distinctly different.


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    • jhkayejr profile image

      jhkayejr 5 years ago from Florida

      I tend to agree with you - I was sort of surprised to see Bon Iver praise them so highly. When I was writing this hub, I was more just looking for a band no one had really covered. I like their music, but, yeah, Radiohead's better by a long mile.

    • DaveysRecipeRead profile image

      DaveysRecipeRead 5 years ago

      Greek Pizza and Polica. Man you've got! Polica is good but not the best Band I've ever heard and although I think it's good music that she makes (some of it) I also believe such a statement coming from Bon Iver to be strange. Bon Iver music is music at a higher level in my opinion, example; Re:Stacks (much more complex than Polica compositions which are quite pop-intensive).

      In view of the number of truly original, truly innovative artists springing up around the globe (Daughter, Cocorosie, Beirut, Animal Collective, etc..) who crank out difficult , but nonetheless good music it's my believe that there is no best anything or anyone. And if there was it would have to be Radiohead. Nice article.