The sprawling Minneapolis-centered supergroup Gayngs is best known as a side project of Bon Iver. But with 25 members and counting, there’s a lot of talent to go around. The latest Gayngsters to spread their wings are longtime collaborators Ryan Olson and Channy Leaneagh. The duo’s offshoot, Poliça, sticks with the trippy, soft new-wave vibe cultivated by Gayngs, but slips in polyrhythms, crackling electronic textures and the evolution of Leaneagh from pixie-faced indie folkster to full-fledged R&B siren.
Poliça was born last summer as an endeavor consisting of Olson’s beats and Leaneagh’s spacious vocals, but quickly expanded to take on two drummers and a bassist. Wise move. They lend exhilaratingly tight rhythmic energy to Leaneagh’s smoky, Auto-Tuned vocals. Poliça hits its stride on a just released debut, Give You the Ghost, immersing us in a sultry soundscape of synthetic textures that hiss and fizzle around deep, driving grooves.
Jay-Z has stamped it with his seal of approval: The rap mogul featured the video for “Lay Your Cards Out” on his Life + Times website. The record came out on Valentine’s Day. It isn’t exactly the most romantic of albums, with lyrics like, “Ain’t a man in this world who can pull me down from my dark star,” but it sure is mysterious seduction.