|Warpaint — Warpaint (2014)|
Warpaint — Warpaint
Ξ A Los Angeles quartet dealing in sparse, atmospheric art rock, Warpaint originally consisted of sisters Jenny Lee Lindberg and Shannyn Sossamon (on bass and drums, respectively), as well as Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman on vocal and guitar. Sossamon left due to conflicts with her acting schedule and was replaced by Stella Mozgawa. With a dedicated lineup, the band began to experiment with murky spaciousness and stripped–down arrangements, and gained the attention of former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante. In 2009, they self–released their debut EP, Exquisite Corpse (which was mixed by Frusciante). After a successful showing at CMJ, they signed with Rough Trade and set to work recording their full–length debut for the label. The Fool arrived in October 2010, featuring more fleshed–out songcraft and stronger performances.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Album release: January 20, 2014
Record Label: Rough Trade US
01. Intro 1:51
02. Keep It Healthy 4:02
03. Love Is To Die 4:52
04. Hi 5:11
05. Biggy 5:55
06. Teese 4:42
07. Disco//Very 4:04
08. Go In 4:00
09. Feeling Alright 3:33
10. CC 3:48
11. Drive 5:12
12. Son 4:07
Ξ Emily Kokal — vocals, guitar, production
Ξ Theresa Wayman — guitars, vocals, production
Ξ Jenny Lee Lindberg — bass, vocals, production
Ξ Stella Mozgawa — drums, production
Ξ Flood — production, mixing
Ξ Nigel Godrich — mixing
Ξ Chris Cunningham — photography, cover art
Ξ John Catlin Mixing
Ξ Chris Cunningham Artwork, Photography
Ξ Ravi Dhar Photography
Ξ Nigel Godrich Mixing
Ξ Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Ξ Mia Kirby Art Assistant, Photography
Ξ Sam Petts-Davies Mixing Assistant
Ξ Drew Smith Engineer
Ξ Justin Smith Engineer
Ξ At Alternative Press, Brian Shultz rated the album three–and–a–half stars out of five, and said that "Warpaint still yields an enjoyable, haunting outpouring of whispered emotional damage and spatial exploration." So, Shultz affirmed "Fear not, shadow creatures: Warpaint is as dimly lit and disquieting as the all–female quartet have ever been [...] frankly, they've gotten quieter."
by Rob Hakimian, 13 January 2014; Rating: 8.5/10
Ξ It's taken a surprisingly long three years for Warpaint to follow up their debut album The Fool. For a band that seems to play and write music so instinctually together, there might have been a little bit of worry that their chemistry had dissipated in the studio in recording their second album. And, on early listens to Warpaint it almost seemed like that is what happened. The songs on The Fool each clicked into a roaring, faithful purr so easily, like a faithful classic motorbike that you could then ride for miles under their golden Californian sun. While possessing all the same strengths as The Fool — hypnotically entangled guitars, powerful–yet–vulnerable female vocals, an ease in shifting gears mid–song —Warpaint is a much darker, nocturnal and less welcoming affair than its predecessor. But, when you get to grips with this fact and find your way in, you'll find that the fire at the heart of Warpaint's music is burning brighter than ever.
Ξ The main advancement in their sound comes in the form of their production, and in particular how it makes the rhythm section a more dominant and lively beast. One only need look at the lead single 'Love Is To Die' for a prime example; the teasing and clicking percussion leads the way into the song like a fuse moving slowly along towards the dynamite, but rather than an explosion of guitars at the end we're greeted with a hovering, all–encompassing fog of bass that becomes the essence of the song, pushing the guitars to the periphery and making Emily Kokal's manipulated vocals sound even more alien and spooky.
Ξ The very next song 'Hi' is possibly the highlight of the album, and shows the increased variation in styles that Warpaint have employed on this outing. It starts out with Kokal's haunting vocal before the song gets a shot in the arm in the form of a crisply popping kick–and–hi-hat beat and an enormous, undulating shadow of a bassline. The song then goes on a tug of war, seamlessly flitting between Warpaint's more intrepid desert–rock and dipping back into this more serene, heady atmospheric style, before the conclusion which blends them together in a breathtaking finale. An uppity drumbeat and wiggly bassline are used on the immediately infectious 'Disco // very' as Warpaint mount another new method of attack, delivering a song that bounds ebulliently forward making use of all the girls joining together in untethered and spirited vocals, bringing a needed shock of life around the middle of the album.
Ξ Warpaint, like its predecessor, focuses on the tribulations of love and relationships, and now with Warpaint's increased adeptness at instilling their songs with tangible and dense atmospheres, they are even more affecting. This does mean that the album is a much more somber affair, but this in turn brings about gorgeous tracks like the aforementioned 'Hi', which deals with strenuous nocturnal relationships, or the beautiful 'Biggy' which employs lofty synths and intelligent backup vocals to realise its fantastical lyrics about dancing above clouds and memories being destroyed. Previous Warpaint releases have had their more stripped down moments like 'Billie Holiday' and 'Baby'; the closest to that on Warpaint is 'Teese' which starts in a similar vein with just acoustic guitar and hushed vocals, but the song is a steady build and reaches the peak emotional strain on the album, in a devastating coalescence of the four women singing their hearts out. Another standout vocally is 'Drive', another slow–burning song, which by its conclusion rises to an interweaving of the four voices that is so stirring and courageous that it will undoubtedly be all–conquering in the live realm.
Ξ Whether they're delivering something rocking, glistening or simply breathtaking, almost every song on this 12 track effort is a gem (only the strange sound collage that is 'Go In' falls flat). The three year break and the initial coldness of Warpaint provided a distinct feeling of a sophomore slump on early listens. But, once Warpaint's new widescreen ambitions became clear, it turned out that the very opposite was true. On their debut the Californian quintet hinted that they could be one of the brightest stars of the current crop, and although they went dark for a few years, they're back bigger and more full of life, and making good on that promise. (http://thefourohfive.com/)____________________________________________________________
Ξ Warpaint is a well–oiled machine. They weave intricate guitar lines, hypnotic vocals and driving post punk rhythms into gorgeous, sprawling songs that skirt the line between psychedelia and intimacy. Both live and on record, Warpaint sound like they're channeling something truly otherworldly, and mystical. They are also a band that truly enjoys playing together. Emily and Theresa have been friends since they were kids, and the bond that the four of them have is truly special.
By Mickey White; January 13, 2014; Rating: 7.1
FEATURE/INTERVIEW — WARPAINT
In feature/interview on 03/09/2011 at 11:03 am
|Warpaint — Warpaint (2014)|