From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 Synthpop, indietronica, R&B, trip hop, alternative rock
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 characterized.

In another interview, lead singer Channy Leaneagh claimed that they wanted something unique, and she had a file on her computer which, following a corruption during a computer crash, had come 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 Cambodia 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,[7] Leaneagh played violin and performed on the three self-released albums by the band.[8] In November 2008, Leaneagh gave birth to a daughter, Pelagia.[9][10]

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 Olson's Gayngs project, where Leaneagh featured as a backing singer. After working together on some musical and lyrical ideas, Olson convinced Leaneagh to record the songs over the summer of 2011 with an R&B sound.[11] 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).[12] Olson declined to be part of a live set-up and Bierden, Christopherson and Ivascu together with Leaneagh became the Poliça touring outfit.[11] 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.[13] 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]

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 Olson. The main reason to self-finance was 'to put the record out' as soon as possible'.[14] 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.[15] During a Polica live performance Leaneagh uses effect pedals to stylise and manipulate her voice.[16]

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.[17] In October, they returned to the UK for an appearance on Later... with Jools Holland and a 16-date UK/European tour.[18]


In the first half of 2013, Olson 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 Olson was spending time in Brazil.[19] Much of the actual recording was completed at the April Base studios of Bon Iver in Wisconsin.[20] Their second album, Shulamith was released on October 20, 2013 and preceded by the single 'Tiff' featuring Justin Vernon.[21] Both the video for "Tiff" and the artwork of the album were described as "brutal".[19]

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'.[19] 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.[22]

The band are set to release their third album, United Crushers, on March 4, 2016. Again produced by Ryan Olson the track "Lime Habit" was released online in November 2015.[23]



Year Album Peak positions Certification


2012 Give You the Ghost 47 62  –  –  –  –
2013 Shulamith 47 69 141 93 85 33
2016 United Crushers


  • Raw Exit (2014)


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 Hyman, Dan (February 17, 2012). "Polica's Experimental Beginnings". Rolling Stone. 
  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. ^ Gage, Jeff (February 15, 2012). "Polica: Wandering star Channy Leaneagh finds her path". City Pages. 
  5. ^ Behm, Jon (September 19, 2009). "Roma di Luna's Alexei and Channy Moon Casselle excavate their roots underground". Twin Cities Daily Planet. 
  6. ^ Riemenschneider, Chris (August 30, 2007). "Roma di Luna: A dark, new moon on the rise". Star Tribune. 
  7. ^ Riemenschneider, Chris (October 1, 2010). "Life and death and Roma di Luna". Star Tribune. 
  8. ^ "Roma di Luna". Discogs. 
  9. ^ Logsdon, Dave (December 2008). "It's a Girl!" (PDF). The Bryn Mawr Bugle (Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 
  10. ^ Alstyne, Rob van (September 29, 2010). "Roma di Luna release Then The Morning Came Alexei and Channy Moon Caselle talk about their growing band and brood". City Pages. 
  11. ^ a b Cragg, Michael (October 26, 2012). "Channy Leaneagh: my first band died but Poliça is an amazing job". The Guardian. 
  12. ^ "Give You The Ghost". Discogs. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  13. ^ Swensson, Andrea (August 30, 2011). "Polica release first tracks, announce debut performance". Gimme Noise. 
  14. ^ Riemenschneider, Chris (August 1, 2012). "Poliça signs with NYC indie label to re-release debut album". Star Tribune. 
  15. ^ Thompson, Stephen (March 15, 2012). "Polica, Live In Concert: SXSW 2012". NPR. 
  16. ^ McCormick, Neil (June 10, 2012). "Poliça's Channy Leaneagh, interview". Daily Telegraph. 
  17. ^ "Poliça Sign To Mom + Pop Records, To Re-Release Album". DIY Magazine. August 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ 'Polica: Europe Calling — Jools Holland on Line 1, BBC on Line 2', The Top 22, October 30, 2012
  19. ^ a b c Oliver, Huw (October 22, 2013). "Poliça: ‘We’re Very Angry People". DIY Magazine. 
  20. ^ Roper, Tamara (October 22, 2013). "The unlikely frontwoman: we meet Channy Leanagh from Poliça". Noisey. 
  21. ^ Geslani, Michelle (June 11, 2013). "Poliça announce new album Shulamith, share video for Justin Vernon-aided single "Tiff"". Consequence of Sound. 
  22. ^ "“The Stone Roses” Remake Confirmed for Black Friday – Tracklist, Photos, Videos". The Future Heart. November 15, 2013. 
  23. ^ Murray, Robin (November 13, 2015). "POLIÇA Return, New Album Incoming". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 2016-01-19. 
  24. ^ a b c "Poliça discography". ultratop.be/nl/. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b c "Poliça discography". ultratop.be/fr/. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Poliça discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Poliça discography". hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]