On Friday night, The Foundry experienced a lush, otherworldly show put on by Brooklyn-based band Wilsen and electronica sirens, Poliça. Both bands’ music either embodied a long, late-night drive or an eyes-closed, swaying solo dance.

Wilsen, typically a three piece, welcomed drummer John Fatum for this run supporting Poliça on their East and West coast tour. Their music is a complimentary but grounded band by comparison, anchoring themselves to guitar based music, dissonant vocals and drum accents for texture to their sound. Singer/guitarist Tamsin Wilson’s smooth voice and vulnerability lift up the poetic lyrics in a haunting way.  This showed through during their performance of “Heavy Steps” off I Go Missing In My Sleep, an album Tamsin noted was largely inspired by a strange dream.

Wilsen also played “Feeling Fancy” off Ruiner, their 2020 album and most recent release.  This track is more moody and punctuated in nature, it was an attention grabbing track and featured well crafted solos by guitarist Johnny Simon Jr.

Wilsen | photo by Megan Matuzak for WXPN

Poliça absolutely hypnotized the crowd at The Foundry; it could be said that they were like snakes, and Poliça, the charmer. This felt especially true during “Driving” and “Be Again,” both off When We Stay Alive, the album the band released in 2020. Frontperson Channy Leaneagh, who mixes her haunting vocals with triggered samples, is clearly tapped into some kind of ether, it both permeates and is embellished by Chris Bierden’s command of the bass and layered, decked out drums by Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu.

Arguably one of the most important electronica/synth pop bands since Portishead, Poliça just dropped their latest and seventh album Madness, and it’s a tension-tinged atmospheric masterpiece.  The four piece chose “Alive” and “Madness” from the album to play, and the intimate setting Friday night brought the album to life so well as live shows are wont to do. To also see the songs crafted bit by bit by the Poliça only added even more to the ethereal experience.

Check out a gallery of photos from the show. Poliça’s tour continues Wednesday, June 22nd with an instore at Electric Fetus in their hometown of Minneapolis.