Where 2018’s teaming up with Berlin orchestral collective s t a r g a ze, ‘Music For the Long Emergency’, was chaotic and fragile, follow-up and fifth studio album from Poliça, ‘When We Stay Alive’ is vividly human. Half written and recorded after singer Channy Leaneagh slipped from her roof whilst clearing ice, leaving her almost unable to move, it’s clear to see that this is a record not about a tragic event, but more of accepting it and moving forward. ‘Driving’, both the first track and single from the album, kicks things into a newer, darker territory - claustrophobic synths, overwhelmingly-urgent bass and just-out-of-reach vocals feel like an unexpected knock on the door late at night. ‘Feel Life’ and ‘Steady’ resolve this darkness, both euphoric and knowing - and beautiful sonically - while ‘Blood Moon’ addresses feeling disappointed in yourself, and what you need to do to push through and make things right. ‘When We Stay Alive’ is emotionally raw, elegantly presented and at many parts a real tear-jerker. Wonderful stuff.