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Video of the Moment #2783: Polica and s t a r g a z e

By on Wednesday, 7th February 2018 at 6:00 pm

Minneapolis group Polica will be releasing a new album next week that a collaboration with s t a r g a z e, a European orchestral collective. Called ‘Music for the Long Emergency’, it sounds like the kind of album for these times, doesn’t it? Single ‘Agree’ is suitably morose and dramatic, with a promo video that makes you wonder what it’s about. Is our existence disappearing? Who or what are we running away from? While the video won’t answer these questions, it’s a well-done piece of short cinema, soundtracked by the haunting voice of Channy Leaneagh. Stay tuned for ‘Music for the Long Emergency’ to be released next Friday, the 16th of February, on Transgressive Records / Totally Gross National Product. To read more of our past coverage on Polica, use this link.


(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Album Review: Polica – United Crushers

By on Tuesday, 29th March 2016 at 12:00 pm

Polica United Crushers album coverThere’s something extremely dark and brooding about this third outing from Minneapolis alt indie/dance group Poliça, even more so than their prior efforts. It becomes the musical version of the tail end of a thunderstorm As in, you know something big has happened but there’s a calm serenity afterward. Supporting this initial metaphor is the opening track ‘Summer Please’, for obvious reasons. Within this track also, along with the title of the record itself, there are some serious political undertones. Upon reading the lyrics, something that is necessary due to the effects and processing applied to the vocals, you’re greeted with the world left for the youth. “Whatcha wanna be, when you’re big enough to realise it’s all shit…I’ve got mine, I’ll be fine”. It’s always good to open an album with a statement, may as well make it an approachable one.

The swelling and consuming action within the synthesisers and instruments is integral to the sound Poliça create, mainly because without it, you might find your interest waning slightly. The soundscapes created by the group are haunting and brooding but can feel mildly empty at times. While the lyrical content helps carry this emptiness, filling their songs with thought and purpose, though even this attempt can have sparse effect, the words juddering across rather than being a free-flowing expression.

There’s no doubting that there’s a beauty to be found within this record. At times, it’s delicate, especially with singer Channy Leaneagh’s soft, yet urgent vocals. This is prominent in the track ’Melting Block’, where she goes from matching the cadence of the instruments to suddenly soaring above them almost effortlessly. However, the overall rhythm of the album is largely flat, motioning toward more of a never-ending cyclical electronic beat rather than having a natural life of its own. Almost every song has an instantaneous introduction, allowing no room for an atmosphere to be built, so it’s a constant assault after each song. Sometimes when you’re listening to an album, a palate cleanser is needed to appreciate each song. But when the majority of the songs kick in from the get-go, you lose this perspective.

To really appreciate what Poliça are doing with this record requires a certain mindset. You can find yourself going from fully invested to mindlessly forgetting what song you’re on, all within the same track. The most interesting the album gets is on ‘Baby Sucks’, which flows nicely after prior track ‘Berlin’. The latter is a slow, sometimes stumbling number, while the latter channels late ‘90s dance music to great aplomb, even including a brief spurt of saxophone at the crescendo.

What would have made this record a fully formed idea, rather than a daydream, is calling back to the sounds of yesteryear as shown in ‘Baby Sucks’. This is where they manage to emulate the feeling from that era’s sound rather than just dawdle along creating a miser’s techno fantasy. If this method were applied to the rest of the album, they would find themselves with a much stronger result, but of course the whole idea behind creation is to experiment and try different things, which is something Poliça cannot be accused of not doing.


Polica’s third album ‘United Crushers’ is out now via Mom + Pop Music. For more on Polica on TGTF, go here.


SXSW 2016: an introduction to SXSW 2016, Polica at The Onion / The AV Club Present Another Manic Monday, and a visit to a metal bar – 14th March 2016

By on Wednesday, 23rd March 2016 at 2:00 pm

My Austin adventure for SXSW 2016 started 2 days before Carrie’s and involved an altogether too long trek by plane to the Lone Star State. Thankfully, after what seemed like an eternity, I touched down Saturday night at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, meeting soon enough with friends for a steaming bowl of ramen at Ramen Tatsu-Ya on South Lamar. At the time, it may have seemed a strange choice, as daytime temperatures on my first 3 days in town reached around 35 C (95 F), typical for a Washington, DC summer day. However, when you are tired, broken down and hungry, always trust in the power of a bowl of steaming hot soup. Preferably with noodles. Trying to explain how to make tea-stained eggs and describe this feeling of home to my Irish and English compadres was alternately disorientating and comforting…

But this is a music Web site, not a food one, so let me launch right into our coverage of this year’s SXSW. Even before the official start of the Music portion of SXSW – the music conference panel programming and the many daytime and nighttime music showcases – film and interactive conference attendees still had the opportunity to see some great bands before the masses arrived for 5 days of the biggest music banquet laid out to you, allowing for large scale gluttony. Musical artists who performed on Monday and earlier had the not as so much advertised in playing to audiences different than those present for the music festival proper, giving these artists an extra chance to make a good impression on an entirely different set of people and probably in many cases, tougher crowds who had never heard of them, forcing them to work harder to win them over.

At the venue known to previous SX punters as Red 7 before it was closed, rebranded and reopened in late 2015 as Barracuda, Minneapolis band Polica had no problem drawing in crowds to their early Monday night gig. The Mom + Pop Records act released their third album, the highly politicised ‘United Crushers’, on the 4th of March, 2 Fridays prior to SXSW 2016. They were arguably the biggest draw of The Onion / The AV Club Present Another Manic Monday afternoon-into-night party across Barracuda’s two stages. With the driving electronic beats of Polica’s singles, I expected to love Polica and for Carrie to absolutely hate them.

Polica Onion AV Club SXSW 2016 1

But wouldn’t you know, it turned out exactly opposite of this. Taking over the larger Backyard stage to a crowd of adoring fans, the heat seemed to have no effect on frontwoman Channy Leaneagh’s energy, She and her band busted through newer, upbeat singles ‘Lime Habit’ and ‘Wedding’ and its controversy-laden lyrics from the new LP, on which I felt the band shined. When the tempo was slowed to allow for the more considered numbers from second album and more feminist-focused ‘Shulamith’, it felt a bit of a let-down. That said, both Carrie and I succumbed to both the stifling and the all too ubiquitious cigarette smoke under the largely suffocating tenting of the Backyard, and neither of us wished to push through the already massive crowd to get pictures from down the front. Maybe under different, smoke-free circumstances, I might have been able to concentrate on the music and enjoy myself more?

the inside of Casino El Camino

Prior to Polica, Carrie was off to see Scottish band The Spook School, so it was up to me to find a place for dinner. (Sorry. Skip this section if you don’t fancy reading about food. But I promise this is at least tangentially related to our time at SXSW 2016.) Being so hot, I didn’t want to each much, so a loaded hot dog sounded pretty good to me. I had no idea what kind of bar Casino El Camino on 6th Street would be, but the security guy at the door should have given me a big clue: he had makeup on his face reminiscent of Alice Cooper (you know, that black eyeliner streaking down) or maybe one of the guys in KISS, but without all that white powder. He wanted to look in my bag and said he had to confiscate my unopened bottle of water. He asked me if I was here to order food and I said yes. I expected gruff direction from him into the bar, but what came out of his mouth was one of the nicest, most considerate welcomes I received all week in Austin.

When a sweaty Carrie finally turned up to order food and I was chowing down on my hot dog (which was very good, by the way), I started laughing when ‘Love is Like Oxygen’ by The Sweet started blaring over the PA. It’s not exactly the kind of music I expected at a bar like this. Further, I had to explain to her that it was a song from the ’70s played with some frequency on Radcliffe/Maconie. There were a lot of surprises for us along the way during our week in Austin, and I hope you enjoy reading our reviews of our time at SXSW 2016 in the coming days.


Poliça / October 2016 UK Tour

By on Monday, 22nd February 2016 at 9:00 am

American electronic act Poliça have announced a European tour for autumn 2016, including a run of UK dates in October.  These European dates follow the band’s spring tour of North America and a scheduled appearance at SXSW 2016.  For a full listing of Poliça’s upcoming live appearances, click here.

Poliça’s new album ‘United Crushers’ is due out on the 4th of March via Memphis Industries (UK) / Mom+Pop (US) / Pod + Inertia.  Just below the tour date listing, you can stream the third teaser track from the album, titled ‘Lately’.  Tickets for the following live dates will be available starting this Friday, the 26th of February, at 9 AM.  For all things Poliça here at TGTF, head back this way.

Friday 14th October 2016 – Leeds Stylus
Sunday 16th October 2016 – Glasgow SWG3
Tuesday 18th October 2016 – Bristol Anson Rooms
Wednesday 19th October 2016 – London Roundhouse
Thursday 20th October 2016 – Birmingham Institute
Friday 21st October 2016 – Manchester Ritz
Sunday 23rd October 2016 – Brighton Concorde 2


(6 Music Festival 2016 and SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2003: Polica

By on Tuesday, 2nd February 2016 at 6:00 pm

Ask most anyone here: it sure is a scary, uncertain time here in America. Minneapolis electronic group Polica clearly agree, as their latest promo video for ‘Wedding’, from their upcoming third album ‘United Crushers’, shows. Scenes of militarised police are included alongside scenes of a brightly coloured, Sesame Street-style setup starring frontwoman Channy Leaneagh. In the politically charged video, she teaches children about peaceful protests – even showing in a craft class how to make your own teargas mask – and safe practices around police. It’s both weirdly powerful and sad that such a video had to be made, and unsettling as this is, it’s reflective of the world we live in now.

‘United Crushers’ by Polica will be released on the 4th of March on Memphis Industries (UK) / Mom+Pop (US) / Pod + Inertia. Channy Leanagh and co. will be appearing at the 6 Music Festival in less than a fortnight now in Bristol (all the details here), followed by a now sold out gig at London Village Underground on the 15th of February. The band also will be appearing at SXSW 2016. For more on Polica on TGTF, go here.



Video of the Moment #1958: Polica

By on Tuesday, 17th November 2015 at 6:00 pm

As I’ve been grooving to the new Leftfield album ‘Alternative Light Source’ that was released back in June, which includes the single ‘Bilocation’ starring Channy Leaneagh, I couldn’t help wonder when experimental electronic group Polica would be back in action.

Wonder no more. A new Polica album is on its way in early March (hrm, is that a prominent SXSW 2016 appearance I smell?), and they’ve released the first teaser from the album, ‘Lime Habit’. What I really like about this is how minimal the background instrumentation is in its blips and beeps, allowing Leaneagh’s vocals to shine. Definitely the better 2015 lime-themed track than Glass Animals‘Gold Lime’ (sorry, guys). Watch the simple yet effective promo video for ‘Lime Habit’ below.

Polica’s third album ‘United Crushers’ will be released on the 4th of March 2016 on Memphis Industries (UK) / Mom+Pop (US) / Pod + Inertia.



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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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