GRAMMYs On The Road With Gold Leaves, Poliça And Kurt Vile

Backstage with Gold Leaves, Poliça and Kurt Vile at Sasquatch! Music Festival
  • Gold Leaves' Grant Olsen
  • Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
    Poliça's Channy Leaneagh
  • Photo: C Flanigan/
    Kurt Vile
June 19, 2012 -- 4:39 pm PDT

The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter played host for GRAMMYs On The Road At The Sasquatch! Music Festival held in George, Wash. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including Grant Olsen's pop/rock project Gold Leaves, electronica/pop outfit Poliça and indie singer/songwriter Kurt Vile.

Olsen discussed forming Gold Leaves, their most recent release, The Ornament, and recording plans for their forthcoming new album.  

"[The Ornament] was made [in California]," said Olsen. "A lot of my favorite bands are California bands. I feel like [the album] is more of a California [album] than a Seattle-sounding [album]."

Gold Leaves is the solo project of Olsen, who is one-half of the Seattle-based psychedelic/folk duo Arthur & Yu. In 2011 Olsen released his Gold Leaves debut, The Ornament. The album features collaborations with the Moondoggies, Amy Blaschke (Minus The Bear, Night Canopy), Thao Nguyen (Thao & Mirah, Thao With The Get Down Stay Down), and percussionist Ben McConnell (Au Revoir Simone, Beach House). Gold Leaves are currently on tour throughout the United States, Europe and the UK, with select dates scheduled through October.

Poliça vocalist Channy Leaneagh discussed the band's formation, crafting songs with producer Ryan Olson and social media, among other topics.

"We wrote together in the sense that I was writing the songs while he was playing me the beats," said Leaneagh regarding collaborating with Olson. "He does what he wants to do on his beats and I do what I want to do lyrically and melodically. There's not a lot of conversation; it's just trusting each other that we're giving the best that we can."

Founded by Leaneagh (previously of folk/rock band Roma Di Luna) and Olson, Poliça also features contributions from bassist Chris Bierden, drummers Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu, and vocalist and Bon Iver collaborator Mike Noyce. In 2011 Poliça released their debut album, Give You The Ghost, which peaked at No. 15 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. Poliça are currently on tour throughout the United States and UK through November, including several dates as the opening act for Bon Iver.       

Vile discussed his musical background, songwriting process and music he's currently listening to, among other topics.

"Before I used to write songs really fast, and I still do sometimes, but a lot more these days I'm slowly writing a bunch of songs, which I like," said Vile. "I used to be in such a rush."

Hailing from Philadelphia, Vile released his debut album, Constant Hitmaker, in 2008. The album was rereleased in 2009, along with a new limited-edition album, God Is Saying This To You. Vile subsequently signed with indie label Matador Records. Vile's most recent release, 2011's Smoke Ring For My Halo, peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. Vile is currently on tour throughout Europe with his band the Violators, with select dates scheduled through December.


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