Two Bands Live Up to the Buzz

March 29th, 2012

Poliça/Zulu Winter – Mercury Lounge – March 28, 2012

Last night was pretty much a perfect new-music lineup for me. After seeing both Zulu Winter and Poliça play great shows at SXSW, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t duped by the Texas heat and that both of these bands were as good as I had thought they were. To my delight, they were indeed. British boys Zulu Winter opened the show with their danceable indie pop and got people, who were likely mostly there for Poliça, moving and excited early. Highlight songs included the single “We Should Be Swimming,” “Let’s Move Back to Front” and “Never Leave.” With bass lines you can cling to and a charismatic frontman, they should be back in no time.

With great bass lines and charismatic leaders being the theme of the evening, Poliça took to the stage to loud cheers. Channy Leaneagh and her ethereal R&B vocals soon filled the room as they played through their electro-R&B debut record Give You the Ghost, my favorite album so far this year. Ostage the band transformed it into something special. Songs like “Dark Star,” “Lay Your Cards Out,” “I See My Mother” and the well known “Wandering Star” had the entire room moving yet transfixed.

Leaneagh’s seductive, and at times jarring, rhythm is hard to tear your eyes from, but each member of the band is incredibly impressive to watch and, my, do those two drummers get a workout. The show felt like it will become an “I saw them way back when” moment. With a great debut record, a fantastic live show and with that much charisma filling a stage, there is nothing standing in the way of Poliça. —Lauren Glucksman