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POLIÇA and s t a r g a z e Premiere New Single via Billboard, Debut Collaborative Album Out 2/16

posted Dec 10, 2017, 11:22 PM by Vu Nguyen   [ updated Dec 10, 2017, 11:23 PM ]

L-R ID: Channy Leaneagh, Marlies van Gangelen, Merle Scheske, André de Ridder, Chris Bierden, Drew Christopherson, Thora Sveinsdóttir, Maaike van der Linde, Alistair Sung, Romain Bly, Ben Ivascu
Credit: Graham Tolbert
Minneapolis-based electronic quintet POLIÇA and European orchestral collective s t a r g a z e recently announced their debut collaborative album entitled Music For The Long Emergency. Following their heart-stopping first track  "How Is This Happening?," (listen on written the day after Trump's election and released on its one-year anniversary, is their new single "Agree." Produced by POLIÇA’s Ryan Olson at Justin Vernon's studio in Wisconsin, the melodic "Agree" finds POLIÇA frontwoman Channy Leaneagh's voice -  atypically unfiltered in this track - careening from vulnerable verses to a vibrant and vital refrain atop of s t a r g a z e's lush chamber arrangement.

Listen to "Agree" on

tells Billboard about the track:

"In this long emergency of being human without a clue, we fall prey to the loudest, most powerful voices, and romantic love seems old fashioned and usually oppressive. However, we still fall in love again and again. When I got married a second time, I understood I have more philosophy than true conversion; I'm a religious anarchist but I haven't been born again, so to speak.

"But when I see it amongst my smartest, most radical friends and heroes, it's more confusing; they too get married or enter monogamous relationships. It makes no sense when you discuss the historical evidence or just our own experiences with love, but then we don't often act in evidence and learn from the past. That's the place 'Agree' was made from. We don't believe in it but we want it all the same."

Introduced via the Liquid Music project run by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, with the hope of a cross-genre collaboration, POLIÇA and s t a r g a z e first met in Berlin in 2016 in s t a r g a z e conductor André de Ridder's living room. While the collaboration started in the same room, the process continued as an 18-month long "ping pong" match as the bands exchanged ideas and music over email, mp3 files, video conferencing, and the occasional meet-up in Berlin, Minneapolis, and Eau Claire. Both bands were adamant that whatever they created "not just be POLIÇA songs with s t a r g a z e pasted on top," as POLIÇA vocalist Channy Leaneagh puts it, and the end result is the most adventurous and forward-thinking music either group has made to date.

Lyrically, this is in many ways an album of tensions — of sorrow and intense joy, of beauty and confusion. "It's about those contradictions in life," Leaneagh says. "How you can be going through tragedy, never-ending wars, but you still also are dealing with human relationships and love and romantic troubles." It is a reflection of the strange and sudden darkening of our times. "Everybody in s t a r g a z e and POLIÇA is a little older. I grew up in a time in America that was before the internet, in a time when the schools in America were the least segregated that they'd ever been. In a time when we had turned towards progress after the era of Jim Crow, and lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan. And we're back in that right now in America. And in a lot of places in Europe too. We had our hands on progress and then it flipped. So the songs deal with that, lyrically, and musically they do too — with the idea that we're still human beings and we’re trying to find happiness and the love of our lives, or a career to be happy about, but then we're also trying to find world peace and end racism."

For both bands, this record is "an example of the truly healing effects of making music with your friends," says Leaneagh. “And while it doesn’t necessarily make things better, it builds community.”

Tour dates:

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
3/1 - Rotterdam, NL @ Cross-Linx Festival
3/2 - Amsterdam, NL @ Cross-Linx Festival
3/3 - Eindhoven, NL @ Cross-Linx Festival
3/4 - Enschede, NL @ Cross-Linx Festival

* solo POLIÇA show