“Digitally, we’ve tried to mimic the album for years,” Drew Christopherson told me in an interview leading up to Poliça’s fifth anniversary. We’d been discussing music discovery, saying that we rarely dove into full LPs anymore because it was so easy to stream the next single. “I think people have now [decided], ‘Why? What’s the point?'” He paused to acknowledge the beauty of sequencing an album and “covering that much ground.” But he said, “A lot of artists, Poliça included, are looking ahead to […] change.”
Christopherson’s words now sound more relevant than ever, given Poliça‘s latest project. Lipstick Stains / Still Counts, a double single, dropped online via Memphis Industries earlier this week. On Record Store Day (April 22), 450 copies of the new 7-inch will hit regional shelves as part of an “RSD Limited Run.”
Lipstick Stains / Still Counts pairs Poliça with two techno-leaning musicians, German DJ Boys Noize and Baltimore rapper Spank Rock, both of whom Poliça call friends. They met Boys Noize at the inaugural Eaux Claires Festival, and producer Ryan Olson and drummer Drew Christopherson have known Spank Rock since their band Mel Gibson and the Pants opened for him in 2006. To close the triangle, Boys Noize and Spank Rock have been collaborating for several years.
For their presentation being so unusual, the tracks don’t quite swan-dive off a catwalk. Thrumming with austere techno, “Lipstick Stains” seems to stay in the same emotional octave, unlike previous Boys Noize/Poliça collaboration “Starchild.” But “Still Counts” careens in a way I haven’t heard Poliça nail since their first album, Give You The Ghost. Instead of tapping my toes to it, I find myself flexing my ankles, using an imaginary damper pedal to ease and swell along.
This doesn’t mark the end of the album for Poliça, who’ve released three LPs (Give You The Ghost, Shulamith, and United Crushers) since their inception in 2012. But experimentation looks good on the band. At our interview, Christopherson hinted that more singles are en route.
Also, a heads-up about Record Store Day: Brother Ali, Prince, and the Time join Poliça as Minnesota-tied musicians with RSD special releases. Keep a special eye out for the eight Prince vinyls, including 7-inch picture disc “Little Red Corvette”/”1999,” which has been out of print since 1985.