Pozi are the sort of band to tackle the creative cycle of deconstruction and rebuilding with relish. Second album Smiling Pools is testament to that. An LP that sees them at their most expansive yet, it follows a gradual swelling of their sound across two EPs preceding the urgent, self-enforced minimalism of their debut album PZ1 in 2019.
The trio of Toby Burroughs, Rosa Brook, and Tom Jones quickly established something of a foundational template on that first album: a hyper-skeletal sound palette of drums, bass and three distinct vocals disrupted by Rosa’s churning violins, from which emerged biting social observations and political angst.
These hallmarks haven’t fully gone away over time, but from that urgent energy there has emerged greater confidence and a playful desire to push further out from the loose genre tag of post-punk they were initially saddled with.
“It’s not our goal to totally embrace and restrict ourselves within a genre.” Tom says. “I feel that the tracks on Smiling Pools demonstrate that we’re taking our music to a different place and we want to bring the listener along on that journey.”
And while Smiling Pools speaks to a more hopeful perspective overall, new track Failing grapples with how 12 years of Tory power have entrenched us with homelessness, poverty and division.
“People with nowhere to turn are surrounded by empty homes and forcefully held down where they are. Whatever your politics, investing in and supporting people makes both humanistic and economic sense. This song expresses bewilderment that such a blatant disregard for humanity can exist in a society with all the resources we have. While the sentiment is doomed, there’s a slim glimmer of hope that this can’t last forever.”
The title Smiling Pools comes from a palm sized, aqua blue, translucent plate Rosa found in a charity shop in Edinburgh. Drawn to the plate’s image of a tranquil pool surrounded with animals (and also to its name ‘Green Briar Smiling Pool 1982’), the album title was decided upon. Much like the pool, this album contains mysterious multitudes and doesn’t give up its secrets easily – is swampy, rich, and – like Rosa’s discovery – based around creative fortuity. It’s a natural leap, or deeper dive, from what came before.
Pozi play live alongside PRAH pals Tony Njoku & Donna Thompson for Independent Venue Week on 31st January at Moth Club. Grab your tickets here.