Half Notes: Poliça – Give You the Ghost (2012)

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A fizzy combination of Cocteau Twins-style dream-pop and stamping R&B grooves, Poliça is a meeting of the musical minds by electronica producer Ryan Olson (Gayngs) and vocalist Channy Leaneagh. Together, they’ve fashioned an album in the forthcoming Give You The Ghost that is both haunting and hooky — like next-gen trip-hop, maybe. But too diaphanous for that. It makes for a brilliant creative tension. There’s “Wandering Star,” which sounds like the echo of a lover’s whisper, but with a tense, room-rattling rhythm. “Dark Star” then pulls you ever closer to the band’s mysterious center, even as it somehow gets itchier and louder. Mike Noyce of Bon Iver stops by for “Lay Your Cards Out,” a song that becomes this gurgling trip to the bottom of despair’s deep blue waters. I hesitate to mention that many of Leaneagh’s limber vocal intricacies are achieved through auto-tune, since that technology is typically more of a cheat than a tool. Yet here, it becomes part of a layered, deeply resonant, quite remarkable soundscape. Hey, even synthesizers had their moments, right?

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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