London in Stereo 26/04/2017
ANTI – April 28th
Under his musical alias of Los Angeles Police Department, Ryan Pollie has been gently teasing out singles from his latest – and second – self-titled/non-titled album Los Angeles Police Department since the beginning of the year.
While both his debut and follow up albums are named the same and while the lyrical themes and make-shift sounds persist and surface, the new album is a graduation from his first rather than a continuation. Los Angeles Police Department still reeks of bedroom pop but is distinctly less grungy and more lucid; his bedroom has moved from the city to the beach.
The titles are mercifully short and the songs are equally brief. The whole album beginning to end is just over half an hour of California-fuzz and psychedelic indie-pop. Where his first album is sleepy and waking up, his second Los Angeles Police Department is being lulled to sleep.
Guitar-band vibes rear their head sporadically throughout Los Angeles Police Department, obvious in his most recently released single ‘If I Lied’, where Pollie’s once grungy sounds turn wistful, reminiscent of lo-fi indie of the early 2000s and wouldn’t feel out of place next to Belle and Sebastian on the Juno soundtrack.
However, the overall dream-like state of the album reaches its climax in track seven, ‘The Birds’, complete with old-school whistling accompanied by lyrics equally as ethereal (“I’m floating, I’m flying/I’m hoping I can let go”).
Pollie’s lyrics are enigmatic and all at once dramatic, romantic and abstract. In ‘Ashlyn’, Pollie sings “I fell in love with a ghost/She drowned in the bathroom four years ago” and ponders whether to meet her by following the same fate. Dark romantic proclamations of love similarly feature in ‘The Plane 2’ (“I want her to love me ‘till I’m dead”) hidden under Pollie’s gentle voice and the track’s sleepy sound.
Los Angeles Police Department is a compact symphony as each track holds its own but the overall sound of the album is consistent; it ebbs and flows as sounds float gently from one track to another. Close your eyes and you might think you’re dreaming.
This article was originally published on London in Stereo on April 26, 2017 and can be viewed here.