Polica

Channy Leaneagh has been home for 24 hours. She’s been on the road, and the centre of attention since Jay-Z posted her band’s video on his Life + Times blog.

Shortly after, at The Grammy’s, Justin Vernon announced that Poliça are the best band he’s ever heard.

It’s hardly surprising that such weighty endorsements now precede this project of Channy’s and producer Ryan Olson’s, but even if Vernon has an invested interest

(his Bon Iver partner Mike Noyce sings on a couple of Poliça tracks; he himself has been part of Olson’s other project, Gayngs)

and Jigga doesn’t really write his own blog, Poliça are making future RnB well worth getting excited about.

‘Give You The Ghost’ – the band’s debut album – is a collection of robo love songs about the break up of a relationship.

It teeters between being sad enough to make your dustbin cry and sexily defiant, like Aaliyah.

It’s never one thing or the other – it’s always both. Channy likens it to the music she grew up on – American Roots music and classic folk singers.

“With those types of music you have very upbeat tempos and melodies with woman singing about their husbands who never came back from the war, Polica

never came back from sea, and yet it’s music that lightens your heart,” she says. “And the same thing, when I perform at night I feel very good.

It’s like a load has been lifted off, because the overall message is, ‘this is not going to kill you’. Polica

The music is upbeat and uplifting and sexy at the same time. It’s an overall positive, hopeful vibe.

“I guess it’s sort of the style I do art in,” she continues. “It is pretty personal so that it’s something I can pull out Polica

WWW.LOUDANDQUIET.COM 19 every night. But also there’s a lot of the things that people don’t know. Polica

I write interweaving myself and a character that can elaborate on the truth. So I’m building a record of stories that are based on my experiences,

but it’s much more dramatic than reality, and that way it can become a character that I build on, and I can reach into a dark place in the performance and then come out of it at the end.”

Home for Channy is Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s where she’s always lived, bar a short period in Cambodia and college years in Dakota.

She studied the violin and married a Bob Dylan fan. They busked to the point of becoming local celebrities.

“People love the violin,” she says, “so we made good money, and then I started to do more of the singing.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Olson – a local producer and member of punk band Building Better Bombs – was looking to form a new soft-rock collective he’d eventually call Gayngs.

By the end he had pulled together close to 25 local musicians for the project, Channy being one of them.

In between Gayngs tours, Ryan played Channy a load of beats and synth lines he’d originally made for another hip-hop group and another synth-lead RnB band.

Once Channy put lyrics to them, Poliça was born. “There was that groove and dancebility that reminded me of the RnB that I loved,”

remembers Channy, who might have studied the violin but grew up on a diet of Lauren Hill, The Roots, Aaliyah and Common.

“I’d been singing folk and blues songs for 6 years – it was like going to school, but once I got to sing my own songs, RnB was the first thing I wanted to sing… and besides, I wasn’t a very good violin player.”

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