Having already collaborated together while performing with Gayngs, producer Ryan Olson and singer Channy Leaneagh seemed to have already had a vision in mind when they formed Poliça. Leaneagh had recently divorced her husband – who she worked with for years with the folk outfit Roma Di Luna – and she approached this as an opportunity to not only vent her frustrations but explore a whole new sonic territory, one in which the gifted vocalist could use her voice and lyrics to accent the soundscapes as opposed to carrying the burden all by herself. Similar to how Sade operates.
Give You the Ghost was Channy dipping her toe into dark waters, temptation manifesting in the form of emotional escape. It was a huge stylistic shift that saw her shed her rootsier folk mantra in favor of a more electronic based sound. Shulamith is the extension of that process. Olson fortifies the industrial edges even further, which pushes Channy to her emotional limit. She delves deeper into her agony, and writes through a complex prism of pre and post breakup emotions. It’s Channy’s stage from here on out, and although the constant bemoaning can get a bit redundant, it’s reserved enough – at 12 songs – to make Shulamith a successful sophomore effort.
Face it, love is the most horrible thing that can happen to a person. At least for someone like Channy Leaneagh who compares it to a never-ending melee between emotions. She’s taking the ball and chain metaphor to new heights, but it’s personal enough to allow a certain level of authenticity to resonate: [LISTEN]
Poison flows from the words of Channy like an angry snake riled to aggravation. She hisses and snaps with fangs that drip with acrid venom, and just as she’s about to attack she lets out an anguished cry – a spot on testimony of a woman scorned: [LISTEN]
The best way to quell the post break up blues is to get wasted and do something ridiculous like going to Vegas and blacking out for three days straight. It’s a proactive way of stymieing the little baby in you that wants to curl in a ball and die. Channy replaces the pain with fun and bitter farewells:
When you get dumped your perspective is all out of whack. So it’s not uncommon to despise your ex one moment, and get all sentimental the next – a comedic juxtaposition if not downright tragic. Channy is cracking at the seems with contradicting feelings, comparing her ex to a heartless warrior: [LISTEN]
It’s the classic remorseful analysis of self, step three in the post break up recovery. And Channy seems to capture that goofy step fairly accurately. The fuzzy nostalgia helps her entertain the fantasy of reuniting, but only under the right circumstances – where they’ll stop wanting from each other and just be: [LISTEN]
With all this emotional purging going on it’s astonishing that anything got done or that the budget wasn’t blown on an inordinate amount of tissue. Yet here Poliça manages to paint a sincere portrait – one that reveals enough to suggest that Channy’s either dating Tony Montana or DMX:
Poliça reaches back into the past to pick at an old scab. The pain has Channy reeling, and like a whipcord, she returns to the source of her pain. She’s saying to herself that she must be crazy entertaining these feelings, but soon she realizes that it’s all just part of the natural recovery process:
Newfound success can cast a transformative spell on people. For Channy she’s wrestling with the dual nature of having to be an emerging pop star one moment, and a relatively tight-lip artist the next. It’s like stepping out on the coast of an unknown land where you’re caught between two worlds: [LISTEN]
By breaking up her pain into manageable doses Channy seems to finally be turning a corner. But just when you thought it was safe she inexplicable returns to the memories that’s brought her so much turmoil. It’s likely that she’s trying to wrangle these emotions out now so they don’t manifest later:
In exploring the realm of hollow relationships, Poliça is putting an honest narrative to the cold hard world of detachment. It’s a rift that starts off innocuously enough, but has the potential to do some serious relationship damage. In the end Channy is not even sure how or why it all happened:
‘I Need $‘
Searching for some sort of emotional leverage, Channy stands atop a mountain and declares her independence. It’s pessimistic as all hell yet honest in exposing the fleeting nature of love. People can get sick of each other – that’s just human nature – and Channy is coming to terms with that harsh truth:
Breaking up is a long arduous process, like standing in line at the DMV. And the longer you’ve been in one the longer the process. But inevitably it’ll end, and for Channy it’s finally coming to a close. What’s impressive is that she stayed this true to it without sounding like a complete train wreck: [LISTEN]