the AU interview: Channy Leaneagh of Polica (Minnesota, USA)


With a new music video “Tiff” just released, featuring Justin Vernon, the lead singer of Minnesota based band Polica – Channy Leaneagh – took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about the video, playing Laneway, the next record and more…

What does the song and the video mean to you?

Tiff is a diary entry if I ever had a song that was – wouldn’t say it’s all about me though. It doesn’t mean much to me now besides notes, sounds and emotions I want to produce well live. I’m painting a picture for myself to exists in when I’m writing music or making videos. But it’s not about me after it’s in front of your eyes or inside your ears – then it’s for you to do with it what you need from it. Making music and videos reminds me of spreading diseases, only it’s a disease that lets you live and feel things that make life bearable. I’m letting out for you to take it in.

I remember when I watched the XX last month and I was listening to their words and feeling their music. I watched them and I heard them but more than anything I felt them. I don’t need to know what their words are about or who exactly are they loving or leaving. I just need to be present and feel their words and sounds. That’s how music works well and takes us to a higher place – when we just let it be inside us.

What is it difficult to film such an intense scene?

I worked with two directors and a director or photography that I admire greatly (Mike Piscitelli, Nabil and Danny Hiele DOP) and they all made it easier to lose myself in the character and forget reality. It felt good to work that hard and want to get something right so bad that I failed to feel tired, felt strong and could push myself in ways I hadn’t before.

You’ve been making waves since your first album Give You the Ghost in 2012 (‘Lay Your Cards Out’ is one of my favourites). What has the journey been like from Minnesota, USA to where you are now?

Well we are all still in Minnesota… I have learned so much in the past two years, it is humbling how little I knew about everything. The journey has been a good one and I am grateful because I love the people I get to make music with, my band mates are also my friends and we travel well together and take care of each other and I work with hardworking and passionate people that I love dearly.

Judging by ‘Tiff’, can people expect your second album Shulamith to be just as dark and moody?

I think there are some upbeat guys on the album, but I’m not a good litmus test for dark and moody because I am so dark and moody.

What inspires you to keep making your music?

Because it feels so good.

If you could achieve just one thing as a band, what would it be?

Continue to have songs to write.

You played St Jerome’s Laneway Festival earlier this year. What did you think of Australia?

I was in awe that I was even there! As a child Australia is a place I only dreamed of going to – what a beautiful country. Plus I got to see my favorite Australian band play in Adelaide – Pond.

Will you be coming back to our shores in the future? Or what else is on the cards?

Hopefully we will, we’ll do our best to return.

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