Exactly a year after the 45th presidential election, electro-pop group POLIÇA and experimental orchestral collective s t a r g a z e, have decided to announce plans for the release of their collaborative album. The story of their collaboration starts over a year and a half ago. In February 2016, the Minneapolis based quintet POLIÇA first met the European group thanks to The Liquid Music Project. The project, based out of Minnesota’s St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, works to connect artists across genre lines in the hopes that new genres an experimental sounds will emerge.
The project did just that for the two unique groups. POLIÇA brought sketches of wild electro-pop and s t a r g a z e effortlessly improvised layered their lush and explorative arrangements over it. It was love at first sound. The two groups went on to collaborate for the next year and a half through email, video chats, and the occasional impromptu face-to-face meet up.
Rewind to exactly one day short of a year ago, and you would find Channy Leaneagh writing the lyrics to the song, “How Is This Happening.” Leaneagh sat down the day after the election, and wrote the song. The 10 minute long song reflects on the powerful emotions Leaneagh felt after the results of the election were announced. The slow tempo allows Leaneagh’s poignant lyrics to shine through. She bemoans the results, “How is this happening?” and pledges to fight back, “I’ll fight him till my days are done…protect the ones he preys upon…Resisting him, reciting us.” The instruments then mirror her cries as the French horn and strings cry out in pain and exasperation.
According to Totally Gross National Product, this was the only song on the album where the lyrics came before the melody. Leaneagh revealed that the writing process for this song was extremely cathartic: “That was an example of the truly healing effects of making music with your friends, and while it doesn’t necessarily make things better, it builds community.”
The rest of the album is said to be full of similar tension. It will build on the tragedy of the world and the struggle to find peace during a time of constant war, while also reflecting on personal struggles and triumphs with love and general human connection. It is sure to be one of the most bold and courageous albums either group has ever been a part of. It is set to be released February 16th. According to s t a r g a z e frontman, André de Ridder, the two groups will tour the album and continue to collaborate in the future. Although s t a r g a z e has collaborated with many groups before (Own Pallett, Julia Holter, Mattew Herbert, Mica Levi, Deerhoof, Nils Frahm, These New Puritans), this partnership seems to be one that will go the distance.
1. Fake Like
3. Speaking Of Ghost
6. How Is This Happening
7. Music For The Long Emergency
2/15 – North Adams, MA – MASS MoCA
2/17 – New York, NY – Symphony Space at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
2/18 – Portsmouth, NH – 3S Artspace *
2/19 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall *
2/21 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
2/22 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
2/23 – Cincinnati, OH – Contemporary Arts Center
2/27 – London, UK – Oval Space
* solo POLIÇA show