Warpaint: you’ll need to get to know before it’ll reveal all

Warpaint_-_Warpaint_albumAT ONLY NINE TRACKS long, all female group Warpaint’s haunting debut The Fool left a lasting impression on listeners. Such a lasting impression, the band left it four years before they opted to release its successor. Thankfully, those four years are over, and here we are, presented with Warpaint’s self-titled second album. Produced by Indie legend Flood, who has previously worked with the likes of PJ Harvey, U2 and Sigur Ros, and mixed by Nigel Godrich of Radiohead fame, Warpaint is a sprawling mass of trippy Dream Pop.

Musically, Warpaint still maintain a similar approach that they took with The Fool. All the things that made it such a great record are still present here; Jenny Lee Lindburg’s fantastic bass playing, Emily Kokal’s altered vocals, and the aura of mystery that surrounds each song. Of course, there are going to be songs that stand out more than others. Opening tracks ‘Keep It Healthy’ and ‘Love is to Die’ are amazing, the latter perhaps being the best track on the album. These are followed by ‘Hi’, ‘Biggy’ and ‘Teese’, all great tracks, however all follow a similar formula as the last, that trademark Warpaint. They by no means sound similar; however it’s what you’d expect from a Warpaint release.

What you wouldn’t expect is the track ‘Disco//Very’. With a slick bass line, the song almost feels like an RnB number, with lyrics which have their own momentum and a drum beat that assists. Warpaint’s almost crazed, howling vocals give the song a dark, brooding feel, making it perhaps the most interesting track on the album. The album continues on with ‘Go In’, a slow paced, melancholy number and ‘Feeling Alright’ a more upbeat song, whose funky beats contrast with Kokal’s ghostly vocals.

Entering the final three tracks, the record feels like it’s winding down. ‘CC’ feels dark, lustful and like a side of Warpaint we rarely see. This theme continues in the electronic ‘Drive’, which screams Thom Yorke. It’s one of those tracks which you discover new parts of each time you listen to it. An incredibly graceful and beautiful track. The album wraps up with the piano driven, ballad-like, ‘Son’.

Warpaint is one of those albums which might need a couple of listens to properly get into. It’s a secretive album, one you’ll need to get to know before it’ll reveal all. There’s no doubt here that in those four years of absence Warpaint have evolved and grown. Their songs feel fuller and fitted, and while there are moments where it can feel bloated, they are overshadowed by the amount of moving, heart warming, dark and emotional moments that can be found around every corner.