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At long, long last, LA-based psych-rock band Warpaint have released their sophomore album. With ‘Warpaint’, members Emily Kokal, Jenny Lee Lindberg, Theresa Wayman, and Stella Mozgawa prove that they are the masters of the slow-burn and immensely talented musicians with a keen eye for detail.

‘Warpaint’ is considerably lighter on the guitar than the band’s previous albums (album and EP, rather) and heavier on the drums and bass, adding an atmospheric element. It’s rock enough, though, to keep it from slipping into shoegaze. Rather than strictly spacious or ambient, it’s stripped down to the elements that make Warpaint great: pacing, emotion, and raw talent. This is the kind of music that will put you into a trance without apology.

‘Intro’ sets the tone for the album: drum-heavy with a moody bassline and melodic guitar and a simple beauty. Melancholic ‘Keep It Healthy’ and lead single ‘Love Is To Die’ follow in this pattern; both are fantastic songs, but things really start to get interesting with “Hi”, a mesmerizing, dark siren song.

“Biggy” is a sprawling gem, “Teese” a gorgeous ballad, “Disco//very” a powerful war cry. (Powerful could apply to any Warpaint song, really- even at their most vulnerable, there’s always strength.)  It’s followed by the timelessly sultry ‘Go In’ and bold, unrestrained ‘Feeling Alright.’

Then there’s “CC”, which I just had to dedicate a whole new paragraph to.  This is psychedelia at its best, with its unsettling groove and about-to-burst feeling which is usurped only by Kokal’s frantic line, “spinning dizzy”, appearing throughout.

‘Drive’ is a beautiful, emotional, refreshing track that makes great use of crescendo. And lastly is “Drive”, which almost-but-not-quite verges on dream pop- think Beach House’s ‘Teen Dream’-  and continues the piano-based closing track pattern from debut ‘The Fool.’

This review went a little  long, so to sum it all up: ‘Warpaint’ is a beautiful, well-crafted album that’s guaranteed to mesmerize. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes any kind of music at all.


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