Rona Mac "Polidics" Single Review - 5th December 2021
Updated: Dec 7, 2021
Rona Mac’s new single “Polidics” is an inspired and compelling piece of indie songwriting-meets-soundscaping that subtly subverts expectations throughout – an expression of frustration at being let down and lied to by a dishonest, negligent and divisive ruling class.
Musically, “Polidics” is magnificent to hear. Building on the tone, darkness and depth of her recent work, “Polidics” also closely captures Rona’s live sound and ambiance – rich soundscapes of layered guitars and vocals, built and washed-out by intelligent use of loop and delay effects, surrounding what is excellent songwriting at heart. The track is also intriguing to analyse, never doing the obvious (at least to my ears). First establishing a weaving pentatonic vocal melody, doubled up by a clean guitar line with the pluck and chime of a music box, the emergence of delayed, offbeat guitars creates an ear-catching syncopation while gradually redefining the rhythm and feel of track. Transitioning to reverb steeped melodies and piercing guitars tones with an emerging four-on-the-floor beat, the sound starts hinting at 90s trance, as if setting the foundations for a big dance break-out. However, the track remains intelligently restrained, barely building beyond a pulsing kick drum and baiting the attention span. Rona clearly has an ear for a melody, the hooks throughout negating any need for any big choruses or grandiosity.
Against this backdrop, we receive the gentle intensity of Rona’s rhythmic alliteration and internal rhyming, the lyrics capturing a very personal and lived account of frustration at broken political “promises of change unbounded”, at the deliberate neglect and resulting isolation in society. While a closing reprise punctuates this point, Rona’s words turn to hope, unity and escape – a curious yet compelling image in which “a bunch of honest creatures fill the skies”.
While it’s hard to pin down, the track brings a whole host of names to mind, such as PJ Harvey, Thom Yorke and A.A. Williams. As an artist with a growing reputation for creating music that truly stands out for its accessible uniqueness, as well as a DIY approach that surpasses even professional producers for shear heart, soul and grit, it would be fair to expect something good from a new Rona Mac track. “Polidics”, however, is absolutely stunning.