Die erste Vorladung (XII)
Their debut LP, though, is a shyly introspective listen that, much like The xx’s first album, sits awkwardly with the industry furore surrounding it. Over its welling synths, slick R&B rhythms and mechanical Auto-Tune displaced to a spatial expanse, ‘Give You The Ghost’ concerns the fall-out from vocalist Channy Leaneagh’s split from her husband and long-term musical collaborator. The result is a confused mess of emotions separate from the solid strut of her aural surroundings. Her delivery ranges from defiance on ‘Dark Star’ to loneliness on ‘The Maker,’ but burns constantly with a bright hurt that attempts to burst forth from the record’s withdrawn nature. It’s a fascinating struggle that provides the pivot on which this beautifully poignant record turns.
Polica succeeds because they cover a lot of ground with few moving parts. On “Form”, the bass marches to a salsa rhythm that intensifies Leneagh’s pleas for forgiveness: “It’s a brand-new day and I’m sorry/I will never take her away.” A staccato version of that bass line strengthens the backbone of “I See My Mother”, haunted by ghostly saxophone peals. Similar instrumental sleights of hand, in the form of lush violins, soften sharp snare rim hits that punctuate Leneagh’s desolate echoes like gunshots on “Wandering Star”. With backing vocals courtesy of Bon Iver’s Mike Noyce, it’s arguably the most affecting track on the album.
Even though the album addresses death—especially the hair-raising “The Maker”, in which Leneagh directly addresses “a boss who draws the gun”—not all of Give You the Ghost makes you want to “swallow whiskey” and “take to powder.” In fact, some of it is rather worldly: “Violent Games” incorporates Algerian pop rai, revving angry synths like Rachid Taha’s “Barra Barra” before Polica’s dueling drums intensify to machine gun-like levels. Album closer “Leading to Death” opens with post-bop synthesizers and a resonant bass line with elements of funk pioneers like Herbie Hancock. And “Lay Your Cards Out” undulates on a Gayngs-like beat and buzzing bedroom synths behind Leneagh’s challenge, “Get your cards out, I am waiting.” So are the rest of us, eagerly awaiting more surprises from this rising star.
Indizien und Beweismittel:
02.07.12 Frankfurt, Zoom
05.07.12 Heidelberg, Karlstorbahnhof
06.07.12 München, Atomic Cafe
08.07.12 Hamburg, Stadtpark (mit Bon Iver)
09.07.012 Köln, Tanzbrunnen (mit Bon Iver)
Nun sind die werten Richter gefragt...