BY: WILL RUSSELL – Hotpress, 05 Feb, 2020

Quality stuff from US Indietronica crew.

“Snow falls on the tip of my tongue/ Tasting blood of the violence to come,” sings Polica frontwoman Channy Leaneagh on ‘Driving’, the opening number of the group’s fifth album When We Stay Alive. The lines prepare you for another round of Polica’s trademark chilly synth-pop. However, there is a difference this time around.

The album was written and recorded following Leaneagh’s 2019 accident, in which she fell off her roof, leaving her in a brace for months. During her recovery, rather than focusing on her fall, she instead visualised herself falling on a cloud, before breaking into a sprint over melting snow and eventually arriving at tall blades of grass. She extended the exercise for other pains that she held onto from her past, using to it release herself from traumatic experiences.

You can hear the results on this great record. Her voice possesses its usual defiant steel, whilst sounding freer than ever. Touches of Cat Power can be heard throughout, particularly on the tremendous likes of ‘Be Again’, ‘Steady’ and ‘Forget Me Now’.

The Minneapolis outfit have always possessed the ability to subtly reinvent themselves, and there is a real leap here into warmer territory. When We Stay Alive has a great sense of confidence and determination. It demands to be heard.

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