In the eight-plus years Poliça has been a band, the synth-pop project has toured the world, released critically-acclaimed albums that have been heard millions upon millions of times, and further bolstered the already-sterling musical pedigree of their hometown of Minneapolis. Long before Poliça—an outfit Justin Vernon of Bon Iver once called “the best band [he’s] ever heard”—was making incredible, innovative music and climbing the European charts, singer Channy Leaneagh was a young violinist who was agonizing over every mistake she made during recitals.

Recently, before the band’s headlining performance at Flannel Fest (just her second show after recovering from a broken back she sustained last winter), Leaneagh invited My First Band host Tyler Maas to join her in a green room RV to discuss her unlikely path to fronting Poliça. After talking about the band’s forthcoming full-length that’s due out at the end of January, the singer talked about playing fiddle and singing in a bluegrass band while attending college in South Dakota, busking at farmer’s markets in Minnesota, getting booked to play a birthday party, and the circumstances that led to her winding up in Gayngs. Along the way, they talked about the camaraderie in the Minneapolis music scene and Maas wondered why Poliça is so big in Belgium.

My First Band is sponsored by Boulevard Brewing. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Poliça (“Driving”).

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