On New Music Friday and POLIÇA – 'When We Stay Alive'


(Photo Credit - Zoe Prinds flash)

Even before I started writing for Alt Revue, Fridays were my favorite day to go to the coffee shop and write. I got up early, reclaimed my favorite table, opened my laptop and before starting work, I scanned the NEW MUSIC section of Apple Music and Spotify. Somedays I could go through four or five albums before getting up to take a break.

Those were very good days. I couldn’t focus on all the songs, but I could get general album concepts while my brain was stimulated and pulled in different directions. However, it is January 31, 2020, and I have not felt that way recently. (January 10, I almost spent the morning listening to Selena Gomez. No offense, but it is not the type of music I typically choose.) Maybe it’s just me and where I am mentally; sometimes I cannot vibe with anything. But I want something special, something that will lift a familiar band/group/dj/rapper to a new level.

I do not want to downplay the music I have reviewed because I can find something that I like in almost everything. Although it was a little too slow for me to spend a lot of time with her debut album, I think Squirrel Flower is extremely talented and will find her way to many big festivals. Like James Murphy, Alex Cameron is honest and hilarious, but he did not reach my rotation like LCD Soundsystem. And Jenny Hval, oops. Maybe I was a little too harsh on her album, The Practice of Love, but I came around to write that it will “make you think, feel, and dance. Which makes it a success.” I want to be remembered for lifting other creative minds and though they express themselves in ways that are not my favorite flavor, it does not mean I cannot appreciate them. Sometimes I just have to work hard to find my appreciation, while other times, like with When We Stay Alive, writing a review is easy.

Scrolling through the “New albums & singles” section in Spotify, I looked at Justin Beiber, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Gorillaz and Caribou, but I wanted an album. Scrolling deeper into the list, I recognized the name POLIÇA. They are one of those bands that make it to a lot of my playlists, even though it wasn’t until after listening to their new album that I went in search of more music by them.

“Driving” is that Thom Yorke style, slightly dark and eerie sounding, music that I am attracted to. But it was more than that. I love Channy Leaneagh’s voice. “TATA” was a lighter sound and dancey, which is another draw. “Fold Up” has moments where it reminds me of Portishead, and with three songs in a row keeping my interest, I knew this album would make it to my rotation.

Although most of the music on the album stays in the same universe, “Steady” has a slightly different style and is a sweet moment. Along with “Be Again,” it signals the movement to the slower half of When We Stay Alive. “Sea Without Blue” is a great way to leave the listener.

Final Thought: Next week is the release of two albums I am also excited to write about. Asgeir Bury The Moon and Shopping All or Nothing. One has Iceland’s biggest selling debut album and the other is Queer Post-Punk, and I like both for different reasons.

Final Thought about When We Stay Alive: For me, this album is right up there with Massive Attack’s Mezzanine.

Rating - 4.5 out of 5


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ALL THINGS ALT. ALWAYS.