I first came across Poliça about a year ago. They were played Sasquatch! and I passed by them pretty fast upon a first listen, but they caught my eye just a bit more than any other anonymous band because I read somewhere Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) said they were the best band he’s ever heard. Fast forward eight months later and I absolutely fell in love with the tune “Wandering Star” after randomly hearing it on a Daytrotter mix.
We got to Coachella 2013 pretty late, or at least later than I had hopped missing Vernon’s band The Shouting Matches (!!!) Fortunately, Poliça was running late so when I thought I was only catching the last fifteen minutes of their set, I actually caught its entirety. They even played a bit more time than they were allotted on the schedule!
I got there in a huff as I had ran from our far away camp spot around 2pm, and if you’ve been to the California desert or Coachella, you’d know that 2-4pm is the hottest pocket of the day. Arriving with my bangs swept back and sweat beading down my face, I was greeted by a really lovely guy named Carlos. I felt awkward the entire time as my body hadn’t fully cooled down.
The band opened up with their perfect opening tune “Amongster,” a tune I’ve had a hell of time shaking this week. It’s absolutely stunning.
There’s not much to Poliça, but they have two percussionists and no guitarist which makes for a unique sound. Very bass and drum heavy with a bunch of synthetic sounds laced throughout.
I didn’t really feel anything for their new tune “Tiff” which showcases Vernon’s coos. The studio version of the tune is actually quite amazing, it’s unfortunate I can’t say the same about the recorded live version. Apparently, Bon Iver Mike Noyce contributed to vocals throughout Poliça’s debut. Subtle recorded, but I can definitely hear him.
My regret of this gig was the band not playing their amazing tune “Leading to Death” which grew on me after playing “Wandering Star” so often that it would just bleed into “Leading.”
Just another tid bit – lead singer Channy Leaneagh and Ryan Olson (both of Poliça) have contributed to Justin Vernon’s soul/r&b outfit Gayngs who put on one of the most unique gigs I’ve seen at Coachella yet back in 2011.