I feel like I’ve already done a handful of pieces on Warpaint this year, but for some reason this band has just been in the back of my head for the past year or so and every time I think I’ve exhausted what I like from them, I find a few more gems that I missed. So starting with this years release, here is the latest on all girl, jazz-fuelled, sometimes psychedelic band, Warpaint.
This year they released their self-titled sophomore album, and it certainly turned up the experimentation in a good way. The killer single as I’ve posted before is “Disco//Very” which takes a Jefferson Airplane-like bass line and turns it into an anthem for a band of female killers, with harpie-like shrieks. It’s as haunting as it is danceable and the whole seducing killer vibe is eerily entrancing, especially with the exotic sounding percussion.
The wonderful instrumental “Intro” is a great sampling of the band’s sound and really drives their synergy home amazingly, and their amazing use of effects. “Love Is To Die” brings out the band’s crazy rhythm mixing immediately, and quickly shows the band’s knack for odd harmonies mixed with vocal effects. The chorus has a sadly entrancing sound to it and the bass line is a great hook. The song ends on a haunting roll of drums and howling, that will make you feel very uneasy.
“Hi” opens on an eerie vocal line floating on top of drums and bass, which slowly builds to a heavy synth part before breaking into a heavy rush part with crashing drums and panicked playing by the whole band. The song keeps changing gears, becoming a wash of synth and several bass grooves, slowly leapfrogging different leads in until it breaks.
“Go In” was a song that I didn’t like the first five times I heard it but now find it one of the best tracks on the record. It’s bass and piano line mixed in a weird lo-fi filter and drums makes it feel like the soundtrack piece to a Vietnam Noir film, I’m not sure why it just does. The vocals add this old psychedelia feel and mystique to it too. But the drop right before 2:00 is what kills me, throwing in a creepy tremolo effect on everything and letting the drums kick in, and the watery guitar line that sounds like it should be sampled to death. The little vocal and guitar lick around 2:55 amazing, the backwords section is really cool and it pains me to think I ignored this song for so long. If “Disco//Very” is album’s catchy single, this is the album’s hidden masterpiece.
On another cinematic note is “Stars” from the band’s Exquisite Corpse EP, a song that I’m surprised I haven’t seen horribly ruined by a billion slo-mo Zack Snyder trailers. It’s watery guitar and vocals lure you in with a sleepy, relaxing feel before bursting around 2:00 to the torrential rain and lightning section that always gives me goosebumps. The band’s most vocal driven song is the round-singing “Billie Holiday” a soft guitar and synth song with the band singing calming harmonies through your ears while slowly introducing different effects to make it even more hypnotic.