The world has changed a lot since Warpaint last meandered over the pond from LA to deliver us their hearts and souls on The Fool in 2010. TVs are 3d, Justin Beiber is even more annoying and Kanye had a baby. Back now with their self-titled second record, Warpaint, whilst the world around them may have changed drastically, the band have clung onto their incredibly painstakingly beautiful sound.
This paragraph is dedicated to the beauty of the album artwork. I urge you to stare at it for prolonged periods of time to relieve feelings of stress, anger or sadness because it really is the most amazing album sleeve I have seen for quite some time.
Choosing to open with a vocal-less ‘Intro’ was a clever choice by the band, the background noise and cuts take you right into the heart of Warpaint HQ and carry you right to their rehearsal space. They bring themselves to you as people and as performers and already, at only 1 minute 15 seconds long, it feels the connection you have with the band is stronger than ever before.
‘Keep It Healthy’ is the first real taste we get of the new ‘sexy’ and ‘sleek’ side to The ‘Paint and damn is it smooth. This is the track that if it were your other half, you would certainly take home to meet your parents. Warpaint’s debut was less electric than this yet I feel the sonic change in their soundscape has lifted the band from well kept indie loves to potential breakthrough success. ‘Love Is To Die’ is the first single to be lifted from this heavily anticipated album and it is January weather encapsulated in a chilly love song that sounds like the echo in the wind and the rain on your window. The lyrics are harsh like the cold but Theresa Wayman’s voice remains warm and stern.
In the intro, ‘Biggy’ sounds kind of like a Haim song and perhaps the girls of Warpaint have taken some inspiration from their fellow LA buddies. But the similarities are discontinued as Warpaint delve into the underbelly of bass and guitar rhythyms for an epicly brooding and moody track. Again, softer vocals are blended with bass undertones that work exceptionally well in contrast. Whilst I can understand that Warpaint really aren’t a pop band in any sense of the word, and that they don’t really ‘do’ choruses, but all I am asking for is perhaps a little more development as tracks progress. ‘Biggy’ is far from boring but for me personally, it lacks little to no kick or real artistic flare.
Having a song called ‘Disco/Very’ surprised me for a band that are on the face of it, very moody. But it seems someone may have put a hint of perkiness in Warpaint’s breakfast cereal the day that they wrote this one. Singing about murder and ripping people up is all very macabre but when it’s backed by a beat that Pharrell Williams would have loved to claim for himself, suddenly it sounds quite pleasant and fun. Twisting the dark into groovy melodies is a skill most lack but whatever Warpaint learnt when they relocated to Joshua Tree seems to have made them masters.
The tracks that make up Warpaint blend and fade together at differing tempos, like a heartbeat rising and falling or a relationship hitting rocky patches. This is more than an album, each track is a stage of emotion that can be sympathised with by many. Warpaint have worn their hearts on their sleeves so that you don’t have to. Despite moaning the lack of punchiness on this record or presence of any real ‘singles’ I actually think this might be my favourite thing that Warpaint have ever put their name to and as records go, it really is a work of art.
By Rachael Scarsbrook
Warpaint is out on 20th January on Rough Trade