Don’t quite know how I feel about Minneapolis band Poliça, their 80s, trippy-hippy new-wave tribalism (which can be compared to, but does not equal, Gang Gang Dance’s), the cheap, retro dread of their aesthetics, and that voice, processed and distant yet searingly warm…
It is interesting, I’ll give it that. The oddity of it all, the feeling of misplacement that comes from the jumbling and scrambling of recognizable elements (kind of like, say, a “recuperation” store packed floor to ceiling with old celluloid film rolls, with no visible clerk in sight, or underwear hanging limp over a building entrance, or some sort of photo studio set up – the crazy neon slants gave it away – in what used to be the neighborhood social service outlet), and especially from the alteration of Channy Leanagh’s vocals: pretty enveloping stuff. Plus a hanging, smoky grain that does a lot in the way of atmosphere.
But in a way it’s also very gimmicky, and lives in its own made-up, hyper-referential world: it’s not very generous music, as the album title implies, and is content to dance on its own in a black-lit room. For your own opinion-making, and since I was listening to Give You the Ghost on my walk down Rue des Roses, here’s “Form,” probably my favorite cut off the album.
Poliça – “Form” (from Give You the Ghost, Totally Gross National Product 2012)