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For other uses, see Polica.
Poliça live in Vancouver.JPG
Poliça playing live in Vancouver in 2012
Background information
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Genres alternative rock, synthpop, R&B, trip hop
Years active 2011–present
Labels Totally Gross National Product
Memphis Industries
Mom + Pop Music
Associated acts Gayngs, Bon Iver, Doomtree, Solid Gold, Marijuana Deathsquads, Digitata
Website thisispolica.com
Members Channy Leaneagh
Chris Bierden
Ben Ivascu
Drew Christopherson
Ryan Olson

Poliça (often written as Polica) is an American synthpop and alternative rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota founded in 2011 by Ryan Olson (production) and Channy Leaneagh (vocals). Live the group consists of Chris Bierden (bass/vocals), Drew Christopherson (drums), Ben Ivascu (drums) and Channy Leaneagh (vocals).[1]


According to Channy Leaneagh, Poliça is Polish for "policy", and she sees it as a reference to an unwritten code that guides the members when they play together, as well as its work ethic.[2] Despite this explanation, 'poliça' is not an actual Polish word, though 'polisa' is a Polish word for policy, which they have then characterised.

In another interview, lead singer Channy Leaneagh claimed that they wanted something unique, and she had a file on her computer that corrupted following a computer crash, which came back as "Poliça".[3]



From a musical family, Leaneagh attended the Ramsey Fine Arts school where she learned to dance, play violin and participated in theatre.[4] She graduated from South High School where she met Alexei Casselle and formed an acoustic duo. Casselle had previously been a member of hiphop group Oddjobs, but sent Leaneagh tapes of his acoustic songs while she was in Cambodja teaching art for a year.[5] In June 2005 Leaneagh and Casselle were married.[6] As a member of the folk-rock duo Roma di Luna Leaneagh played violin and performed on the three self-released albums by the band.[7] In November 2008 Channy gave birth to a daughter, Pelagia.[8][9]

After a marital and professional break-up, the singer was looking for a 'creative release' that eventually became Poliça.[1] The origins of the band were found in Ryan Olsen's Gayngs project, where Leaneagh featured as a backing singer. After working together on some musical and lyrical ideas, Olsen convinced Leaneagh to record the songs over the summer of 2011 with a synthpop and R&B sound.[10] Experimenting with various vocal effects, the duo drafted in Chris Bierden (bass/vocals), Drew Christopherson (drums) and Ben Ivascu (drums) to complete the sessions that also featured a guest-appearance by Mike Noyce (Bon Iver).[11] Olsen declined to be part of a live set-up and Bierden, Christopherson and Ivascu together with Leaneagh became the Poliça touring outfit.[10] They made their live-debut on September 4, 2011 at Nick and Eddie, Minneapolis and made two songs, 'Dark Star' and 'Lay Your Cards Out (feat. Mike Noyce)', available on their website.[12] For the rest of the year, the band toured, partly as support to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The band also received support from Bon Iver founder Justin Vernon who told Rolling Stone, "They're the best band I've ever heard."[1] Both Olsen and Christopherson were close to the Vernon family and the band were soon signed to Nate Vernon's Middle West Management.

Give You The Ghost[edit]

Their debut, Give You the Ghost, was released on Valentine's Day, 2012 on Totally Gross National Product, a local community-based label, founded by drummer Drew Christopherson and Ryan Olsen. The main reason to self-finance was 'to put the record out' as soon as possible'.[13] In March 2012, the band played at SXSW in Austin, Texas, where NPR wrote that 'Where Give You the Ghost gives the suggestion of a subdued live presence, Polica's stage show heads to somewhere approaching the opposite extreme — a welcome jolt of beauty and power.[14] During a Polica live performance Leaneagh uses effect pedals to stylise and manipulate her voice.[15]

The summer of 2012 saw the band tour parts of Europe and play a handful of festivals together with Bon Iver. In August 2012, it was announced that the band had signed with Mom + Pop records and re-released the album on the 14th of that month, together with a remix EP.[16] In October they returned to the UK for an appearance on Later... with Jools Holland and a 16-date UK/European tour.[17]


In the first half of 2013, Olsen and Leaneagh began working on new music, described by the singer as 'Drums. Bass. Synths. Me, Women'. Much of this was done by e-mail as the band continued to tour and Olsen was spending time in Brazil.[18] Much of the actual recording was completed at the April Base studios of Bon Iver in Wisconsin.[19] Their second album, Shulamith was released on October 20, 2013 and preceded by the single 'Tiff' featuring Justin Vernon.[20] Both the video for "Tiff" and the artwork of the album were described as 'brutal'.[18]

As part of the promotional mix, the band played BBC2's Later... with Jools Holland on October 11, 2013 and, three days later, on BBC Radio 6 Music's Lauren Laverne show from Maida Vale Studios in London. The title of the album is a reference to the feminist Shulamith Firestone, who Leaneagh described as her 'muse and mentor'. In contrast to the previous album, the singer 'had more time with each song this time, but the lyrics and melodies are still based on that first reaction'.[18] Leaneagh was also among the "friends" that contributed to The Flaming Lips' "The Time Has Come To Shoot You Down…What A Sound," a reworking of the Stone Roses debut album out Black Friday 2013.[21]



Year Album Peak positions Certification


2012 Give You the Ghost 47 62  –  –  –  –
2013 Shulamith 47 69 141 93 85 33


Year Single Peak positions Album




2012 "Dark Star"  – 2  – 42 Give You the Ghost
"Wandering Star"  – 36  –  –
"Lay Your Cards Out"  – 62  –  –
2013 "Form"  – 82  –  –
"Tiff"(Justin Vernon)  –  –  –  – Shulamith
"Chain My Name"  – 60  –  –

*Did not appear in the official Belgian Ultratop 50 charts, but rather in the bubbling under Ultratip charts.


  1. ^ a b c "Polica's Experimental Beginnings" Dan Hyman, 'Polica's Experimental Beginnings', Rolling Stone, February 17, 2012
  2. ^ Roberts, Chris (February 14, 2012). "Polica: A band before they realized it, thanks to Ryan Olson". Minnesota Public Radio. 
  3. ^ "Interview with Polica". Step Into The Black Music Series presented by The Fader and Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. YouTube. May 9, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Citypages article 2012" Jeff Gage, 'Polica: Wandering star Channy Leaneagh finds her path, City Pages, February 15, 2012
  5. ^ "Twin Cities Daily Planet" Jon Behm, 'Roma di Luna's Alexei and Channy Moon Casselle excavate their roots underground' Twin Cities Daily Planet, September 19, 2009.
  6. ^ "Roma di Luna 2007" Chris Riemenschneider, 'Roma di Luna: A dark, new moon on the rise', Star Tribune, August 30, 2007.
  7. ^ "Discog's entry" Discography.com entry for Roma di Luna
  8. ^ [1] Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association Newsletter December 2008.
  9. ^ "City Pages 2010" Rob van Alstyne, 'Roma di Luna release Then The Morning Came Alexei and Channy Moon Caselle talk about their growing band and brood', City Pages, September 29, 2010
  10. ^ a b "Guardian Oct. 2012" Michael Cragg, 'Channy Leaneagh: my first band died but Poliça is an amazing job' The Guardian 26 October 2012
  11. ^ "Discogs reference 1st album Discogs.com listing for Give You The Ghost accessed October 21, 2013
  12. ^ "Gimme Noise" Andrea Swensson, 'Polica release first tracks, announce debut performance', Gimme Noise, August 30, 2011
  13. ^ "Star Tribune article on Mom + Pop signing" Chris Riemenschneider, 'Poliça signs with NYC indie label to re-release debut album', Star Tribune, August 1, 2012
  14. ^ Thompson, Stephen (March 15, 2012). "Polica, Live In Concert: SXSW 2012". NPR. 
  15. ^ "Daily Telegraph interview 2012" Neil McCormick, 'Poliça's Channy Leaneagh, interview', The Daily Telegraph, June 10, 2012
  16. ^ "Give You The Ghost re-release" 'Poliça Sign To Mom + Pop Records, To Re-Release Album' DIY Magazine 3rd August 2012
  17. ^ 'Polica: Europe Calling — Jools Holland on Line 1, BBC on Line 2', The Top 22, 30 October 2012
  18. ^ a b c "DIY Oct. 2013 interview" Huw Oliver 'Poliça: ‘We’re Very Angry People’, DIY Magazine, October 22, 2013
  19. ^ "Noisey Interview" Tamara Roper, The unlikely frontwoman: we meet Channy Leanagh from Poliça', Noisey, October 22, 2013.
  20. ^ Geslani, Michelle (June 11, 2013). "Poliça announce new album Shulamith, share video for Justin Vernon-aided single "Tiff"". Consequence of Sound. 
  21. ^ The Future Heart "“The Stone Roses” Remake Confirmed for Black Friday – Tracklist, Photos, Videos"
  22. ^ a b c "Poliça discography". ultratop.be/nl/. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c "Poliça discography". ultratop.be/fr/. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "Poliça discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  25. ^ "Poliça discography". hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 

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