Cameron Wittig

It’s hard not to be lulled into a trance by Poliça’s eerie synth-rock. But when you snap out of your hypnotized state, you may find yourself thinking about the opposite gender in a whole new way. The Minneapolis-based band dives deep into gender politics on its second CD, Shulamith (Mom+Pop Music, $12). Singer-lyricist Channy Leaneagh spoke to American Way about authors who’ve helped shape her songs about life, love and “my fascination with why so many marriages crumble.”

“[Firestone’s book], The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution (1970), inspired me to be who I want to be. It was very radical at the time, but it predicts a lot of what we do now — the idea that men can split the responsibility of caring for children, while women can be creative and work.”

“He grew up on the [Spokane] Indian Reservation and has an incredible gift for writing about people. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993) is an amazing book, and his poems are beautiful too.”

ISADORA DUNCAN (1877-1927)
“She was a dancer, but I’m most influenced by her writings about her life and philosophy. Her autobiography, My Life (1927), has really profound ideas about relationships between men and strong women.”

SYLVIA PLATH (1932-’63)
“She’s fascinating, and she wrote so well about what it’s like to be a woman. I’m a very confessional songwriter, and her confessional writings really influenced me. Even though they’re about Sylvia Plath, they speak to me; especially her journals. I just love to read other people’s journals.”