United Crushers (out March 4, 2016) is POLIÇA’s third full-length release and most ambitious album to date. The band, which includes Channy Leaneagh, dual drummers, Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu and Chris Beirden on bass with producer Ryan Olson at the helm, collectively wrote the album in Minneapolis in the winter of 2015 during their first true break from two straight years of touring. They recorded it at the renowned Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, TX, nestled just a few short miles from the United States/Mexico boarder. The new album builds on POLIÇA’s signature synthesizer and percussion-heavy sounds with more complex arrangements and a bigger, crisper hi-fi punch due to the new approach they took to writing and recording: together, all in the same room. There’s a tighter groove to these songs and a more vulnerable quality to them, especially in Leaneagh’s singing. Her impressive vocal range is consistently on display throughout, beautifully raw and less electronically effected than on previous recordings.PolicaConcertTurner Hall BallroomApril 15, 2016 - 8:00pm
If the opening moments of POLIÇA’s new album, United Crushers, leave you feeling unsettled, then Channy Leaneagh has done her job. With her voice pitch-shifted down into an ominous, nearly unrecognizable register, she sings of a post-industrial urban landscape littered with broken promises, a land of poverty and violence that’s been rigged against us from the start. Despite all that, though, there is an element of defiance, a refusal to surrender in her delivery of the lyrics. Halfway through that first track, “Summer Please,” when her gorgeous true singing voice enters on top of the deep and disturbing baritone, there is a moment of hope and transcendence, and it’s the key to unlocking United Crushers, POLIÇA’s third full-length release and most ambitious album to date. Even at its darkest, the record is musically the band’s most upbeat and celebratory. It is a weapon meant to empower the weak, the forgotten, and the disenfranchised; it’s very creation an act of rebellion in the face of the such forces as repression, social injustice, and one’s own self-doubt and isolation.
United Crushers was born out of the longest break from touring in POLIÇA’s history. The group originally emerged from Minneapolis in 2011 when Ryan Olson, GAYNGS leader, producer and Minneapolis’ master of curation, began collaborating with Leaneagh on a batch of synthesizer and percussion-heavy arrangements he had lying around. The resulting debut, 2012’s Give You The Ghost, immediately garnered international acclaim, with Rolling Stonehailing it as “the sound of heartbreak and celebration happening simultaneously” and Qpraising it as “a bewitching, urgent, magical debut.” The quick success of Give You The Ghostbrought with it a heavy touring schedule and an itch to keep creating. Taking just a few months off from the road, the band ventured into the studio and emerged with their follow-up,Shulamith, in the fall of 2013. EW called that album “propulsive enough for dance floors, and dreamy enough for headphones” and MOJO said it “proves that intelligent pop music still has the ability to seduce and enthrall.” Bolstered by a live lineup of dual drummers, Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu, Chris Beirden on bass and Leaneagh’s powerful voice, the band conquered massive festivals around the world from Coachella to Glastonbury in addition to performing on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Later With Jools Holland.