It’s been just a touch over a year since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, but the shockwave that the election caused is still being felt as his first tumultuous year in office continues. On the day after the election itself, Poliça were set to perform alongside Berlin-based chamber orchestra s t a r g a z e, they found themselves reeling from what had happened. As such, vocalist Channy Leaneagh sat down to write words and a vocal melody, which would become the lead track from their new collaborative album, ‘Music For The Long Emergency’.
The themes of horror and disbelief run deep through ‘How Is This Happening’, a 10-minute mammoth that builds on its darkened atmosphere at almost every turn. Channy’s vocals lament over the turn of events, constantly asking how any of it is possible and that “our freedom isn’t really free”. Yet, there’s also an element of wanting to fight back, as she talks about “resisting him resisting us” and how “I’ll fight until my days are done”. But as her voice becomes wrapped in distortion there’s a pervading sense of loss. The crunching, fuzzy foundation and s t a r g a z e’s dramatic, melancholic string sweeps only heighten the intensity of feeling that pours from Channy’s words. Together, they capture the deep despair that washed over many one night a year ago.