Polica - Give You The Ghost

‘Give You The Ghost’ is very much a heartbreak album.

Label: Memphis Industries

Rating: 7

‘Giving You the Ghost’ has already been available stateside since December and it’s been winning critics over ever since. The result of a month’s writing, ‘Give you the Ghost’ is, if not more, just as mesmerising as masterminds Ryan Olson and Channy Leanagh’s work with Gayngs.

A Polish word, “polica” translated into English means “urgent action” which is ironic as most tracks seemingly stay rooted to the spot: opener ‘Amongster’, for example, simply drenching itself in a sprawl of frothy synths throughout. Similarly, ‘I See My Mother’ spine is constantly defined by skeletal side snares, whilst banshee-like wailing haunts the crevices of the restless ‘Violent Games’. But the result is an album that doesn’t tediously trail, instead being one of the most mesmerising pieces of work Polica’s members have created.

It’s Leanagh who’s central to the album: her voice heavily auto-tuned to sound part ghostly and part alien-like and the overall effect is, less of your typical throw away pop princess, but more of a spectral being urging you to listen more closely. On ‘Form’ she apologetically sings: “It’s a brand new day/ and I’m sorry/ I will never take her away.” Further on during the bubbling ‘Dark Star,’ she becomes regretful (“What’s mine / What is all mine / It’s not my child/ Not my child). Finally, Leanagh reveals her own loneliness on ‘Wandering Star’ (features vocals from Bon Iver’s Mike Noyce) as she cries: “When the day is done / And I lay me down / This sheet’s so cold / And your space is dark.”

‘Give You The Ghost’ is very much a heartbreak album (Leanagh’s recent divorce is an influence) and it’s these themes of alienation and anguish that adds a human element to an otherwise robotic record. Combined with the hypnotic instrumentation that blankets the record, it’s easy to immerse yourself and get lost in its alluring character. Once you finally come back to your senses though, you’ll want to dive straight back in.