Bon Iver's favourite new band play Laneway and a sideshow at the NSC
Since their origins in only 2011, Poliça (it's Polish for 'policy') have been on the radar of music bloggers. Even Bon Iver's Justin Vernon casually tipped them as one of the best bands he's heard of. Now they will be making their way over from Minnesota all the way to Australia to play St Jerome's Laneway Festivals across the country and have thrown in a few sideshows for good measure. Channy Leaneagh's AutoTuned vocals walk the line between angelic robot and hauntingly beautiful (just when you thought the technique should be declared dead), set off by the talents of multi-instrumentalist Ryan Olson and two drummers. We talked to Channy ahead of their shows.
Channy, your first album (2012's Give You the Ghost) won the band widespread praise. Are you continuing with a similar sound on your second album?
I’m not trying to do anything too different. The first one was almost like a demo. We recorded it in Ryan Olson’s bedroom; the drums were recorded in a day, and it’s just done very quickly. It was done in this rush of excitement of creative fun and inspiration. For this new stuff we’re going into a proper studio and having fun with it and giving this one a little bit more attention. I think the new one will sound more developed. It’s still really coming from the same place though.
In terms of song writing, Ryan Olson came to you with some beats that you liked and you took it from there. Do other band members take part in the song writing process?
It starts with me and Ryan, and him giving me beats. Then we bring them to the band. The name ‘Poliça’ really does relate to how the band works in that we value collaboration and really clear boundaries that allow people to be creative within those. We have no tambourines in this band, if you know what I mean? Not that there’s anything wrong with tambourines! It’s just that everybody has their role, that’s our sort of ‘policy’.
Dark Star is written about your daughter, isn’t it?
All my songs are mish-mash of my ramblings, but she is definitely a large part of that song. She calls that "her song".
Does she influence a lot of your work? And does she get to tour with you?
She doesn’t always find herself in the song, but she influences the things I say. I’m not trying to hide things from her, but I’m thinking of her, and the legacy I am leaving for her as a woman. She does get to come on the road sometimes, but only for short trips.
This is your first trip to Australia, what are you hoping to see and experience while you’re here?
I’m very excited to see the landscape. I’ve only heard extremely wonderful things about Australia. It’s one of those places that I can honestly say I never thought I’d get to go there.
What is the music scene like in Minneapolis? Is your band particularly reflective of the music that comes from there?
Well, two drummers in a band is something that does happen a bit here! Ryan Olson is known as a procurer of a lot of bands and a lot of projects here, so I guess there is a ‘sound’ of his. Electronic music is pretty big here too.
Any ideas when the second album could be ready?
We’re still working out when that will be, I will be in the studio next week to record and redo things. We have time now if we don’t like something we can do it over again, and we’re doing plenty of that!