Shulamith | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Poliça | Mom & Pop Music

The first album from Minneapolis synth post-pop group Poliça—2012's Give You the Ghost—inspired Bon Iver's Justin Vernon to exclaim to Rolling Stone: "They're the best band I've ever heard." On their second album Shulamith—just released this week—Vernon lends his sultry tenor vocals to the lead single "Tiff." Clearly, he is still a big fan.

Lead singer Channy Leaneagh—formerly of Roma Di Luna—drapes her velvety vocals all over the sophomore album. It's a signature sound that covers all the jagged nooks of the supernatural electronic canvas.

Shulamith is an album rich with intrigue. The fourth track, "Warrior Lord," is a seductive song in which Leaneagh's tearful voice is begging for a hug as she cries out, "I can't find my love, shadows fill me up."

The electro composition of band member Ryan Olson—who also collaborated with Leaneagh in the group Gayngs—billows around like soap flakes in a snow globe. There is a darkness trapped in the sparkle of the synth that bursts through only when paired with the angst in Leaneagh's voice. And when Vernon joins Leaneagh on "Tiff," the sorrow that dominates most of the record morphs into aggression. The song is a slow burning display of disappointment.

The real purpose behind Shulamith is the juxtaposition between the smooth vocals and the sharpness of the underlying music it while woven together perfectly—forms the equivalent of a blanket that doesn't quite keep the cold out. The music is soft, and yet still uncomfortable.

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...

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