In 2018, Poliça, at least on paper, doesn’t sound like an endlessly inventive bunch. The dark, mystified synthpop band from Minneapolis has recently been concerned with the state of political affairs in the U.S., much in the same way as countless other bands, mainstream or otherwise. Their latest album, Music for the Long Emergency, intrigues both topically and musically, but mostly due to the ace that Channy Leaneagh’s five-piece delivered from up their sleeves, and that’s Stargaze, André de Ridder’s modern chamber ensemble based in Berlin. The two groups first met in the German capital about a year and a half ago, right about when Trump became POTUS and things, in Laeneagh’s opinion, became messy nationwide. This year, the result of their merger, Music for the Long Emergency, embodies that messiness in myriad ways and is here to remind us of the potency of such peculiar collaborations.
Heavy on synths and strings alike and released in February, Music for the Long Emergency is a purposeful dissection of the reality of Trump’s America, macabre and yet poignantly orchestrated, with a 10-minute epic “How Is This Happening” as the melodic and narrative apex. While the crossover of Poliça and Stargaze is far from the first cross-pollination of that sort in modern music, it is a successful one, deftly combining the best of both worlds without compromising on the structure.
Poliça is currently on a European tour in support of their new album; Berlin, London, Amsterdam and Paris are some of the cities they will be visiting in upcoming weeks. See the full list of tour dates here.