United Crushers by Poliça (Mom + Pop Music)

Since their start in 2011, Poliça—comprised of Channy Leaneagh on vocals and synthesizer, and producer Ryan Olson, along with a few more members for live shows—has taken electronic music in unique directions. March 4 saw the release of their third album, United Crushers.

The album is energetic, though littered with both peaceful and wistful moments. It draws on the aged but still controversial— and sometimes reviled—genre of synthpop, though not exclusively. The modern lo-fi trend in indie rock makes some appearances, and the impact of both baroque pop and soul is clear.

As the album progresses, the pauses and quieter moments become songs in themselves, such as the melancholy “Fish On The Griddle.” Other songs, like “Someday,” exhibit a chameleon-like ability to shift between upbeat and desperate tones. That song—one of the album’s finest—does so seamlessly, with no apparent effort.

The same could be said of the album as a whole, which goes to great lengths avoiding repetition. Far from creating generic dance tunes, Poliça’s are hard to fit in any one category. Even the songwriting ranges from the intensely personal to social commentary.

A retro style doesn’t mean retro sensibilities, as was made clear by the prior album, Shulamith, which took its name from influential radical feminist Shulamith Firestone. With United Crushers, Poliça has shown, once again, that innovation and emotion are by no means absent from electronic music, as well as the possibility for unique aesthetics created via synthesizer, the seemingly least personal of instruments.

—Gideon Simons

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