Polica at Rough Trade East
The renowned Rough Trade Records store in east London was suited perfectly to Polica’s mystical but ephemeral performance on Thursday 12th July. A label established in 1976 and still going strong, the Brick Lane store was packed to the brim with an eclectic mix of independent records – a great deal being vinyl. Polica found their niche perfectly by performing here.
Playing songs from their captivating Give You The Ghost album, the lead singer, Channy Leaneagh, sedated the audience with her subtle, quiet charisma. By opening with The Maker the audience was immediately seduced into a euphoric, torpid state; the synths seemed to hypnotise everyone. The bassist particularly stood out with his vitality but the band, uniquely, never seemed to lose energy, which contrasts with the tranquillity of their synthetic sounds. When Channy spoke between songs she declared that all the band does is play sets and sleep; she was, of course, adding to the vivid, dreamy ambience they had already created with their opening.
Think of The XX but sleepier, more psychedelic but just as bittersweet – Polica are exceptional because of their shadowy, optimistic sound. They kept the crowd engaged throughout their 30-minute set as Channy’s distinctive reverb and auto-tuned vocals glided around the humble venue. With nonchalance, the band kept going with a remarkable, calming energy – especially when closing with Leading to Death. With even Jay-Z declaring himself a fan, it is no wonder they are gaining a reputable following. Keep an eye out for these guys, and get hold of the debut if you haven’t already. A thoroughly mesmerising set.
Matt Di Salvo
Photos: Sherinne Abdou
Download Give You The Ghost from iTunes and visit Polica’s site here.
Listen to Dark Star here: