Back in 2014, the California-based musician Ryan Pollie started releasing music as Los Angeles Police Department. He put out two albums under the name, both self-titled — his 2014 debut and its 2017 follow-up — but today, Pollie announced that he’s retiring the moniker in favor of his given name. Back when we named him a Band To Watch, he explained that the name started as a joke: “I was joking about how funny it would be if you saw a marquee at a club that read LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT TONIGHT! And what that would put in your head if you didn’t know the band.”
In a press release, Pollie explained the name change as such:
My new material was influenced mostly by songwriters of the early 70’s in both California and Japan. Whether it was Jackson Browne, Carole King, or Graham Nash. Kenji Endo, Yumi Arai, or Sachiko Kanenobu. At that time, songwriters were not hiding behind a band name or creating a persona for their art. The music was completely tied to who they actually were, total vulnerability. I just found that really appealing – like I don’t have to be selling something, it’s just me.
He’s shared a new song to commemorate his latest chapter, a lush and sticky earworm called “Blackout” that’s twinged with the guilt and shame of never knowing exactly what happened and how. “I think I need to call my friends and apologize/ I’m feeling kinda gross,” Pollie sings.
“The song generally is about substance abuse. Occasionally I will go super hard with friends and this song was written and recorded the day after my friend’s birthday party,” he says. “I black out kind of easily, and then the next day I get super down and go through a lot of self-loathing. Alcohol really affects my brain chemistry. The song does not really have an agenda, but is more just written about my experience of that day and what I was feeling. Canceling plans, apologizing to friends.”
“Blackout” is out now via Anti-.