We first knew Poliça as a synth-pop act, but the Minneapolis band emerged from an exploratory Upper Midwest music scene where genre rules and/or roles are even more elastic than they’ve become everywhere else, and they’ve since been swept up into Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner’s highly collaborative, cross-disciplinary 37d03d community. So of course Poliça made a whole album with the European orchestral collective s t a r g a z e. And of course their new one has yielded what amounts to a deconstructed country song.
When We Stay Alive, which was largely informed by singer Channy Leaneagh falling off her roof and breaking her L1 vertebrae two years ago, has already yielded two catchy and fascinating singles, “Driving” and “Forget Me Now.” The album’s latest offering, “Steady,” surrounds Leaneagh with weeping pedal steel, acoustic strums, and atmospheric keyboards, but also jarring synthesizer blurts that leave the song sounding unmoored from any conventional sonic palette.
Leaneagh spends “Steady” reflecting on her mother’s ability to keep everything feeling stable once upon a time. In a press release, she explains that the song explores those memories in the context of her own parenting: “It’s about looking around and realizing you and your kiddos are all alone and feeling terrified about taking care of it all and raising good humans to boot. I see my own weaknesses looking back at me everyday as a parent and I’ve also found my strengths. Building our own family and foundation.”
When We Stay Alive is out 1/31 on Memphis Industries. Pre-order it here.