About a month ago I was lucky enough to go to a gig of one of my new favourite bands at the O2 Academy in Leeds. The band in question? Warpaint. Ok, so maybe you haven’t heard of this incredible Los Angeles girl band, or maybe you have, in which case, yay!
This American quartet formed in 2004 and released their first EP in 2010. Although they have changed band members and producers a fair few times since they first formed, they have still retained and developed an amazingly unusual, intense sound and style. It’s almost impossible to describe or pin down but ultimately awesome! Their latest album, the eponymous Warpaint, got a glowing review in NME (and quite rightly so) and their concert tour and festival line-up this year means they won’t be fading into obscurity any time soon. The best-known and most well-loved tracks from the album include Love is to Die, Undertow and Elephants.
Love is to Die:
The current members of Warpaint include Emily Kokal (vocals, guitar, synthesizer), Theresa Wayman (guitar, vocals, keyboards, drums), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass, vocals) and Stella Mozgawa (drums, guitar, keyboards, vocals). Their song-writing and recording process in the studio is mysterious yet Kokal revealed in an NME interview that it was like a ‘democracy of dictators’. I love this honesty and even more so when Stella Mozgawa embellishes by saying: “We’re all ladies, we’re all emotional bitches, you know. Our job is getting along, understanding each other, and we’re still working it out every single day.” I think there’s definitely something we, as ladies after all, can empathise with here! After all who hasn’t felt the same way about their girlfriends at some point?!
This ethereal and often obscure result combining abstract and sometimes disturbing lyrics, throbbing bass line and strong drum beats create a very individual style. Their songs shift from psych-rock to alternative, slow to fast. They even have self-professed R&B and rap influences in their latest album. This creates an incredibly varied range of songs and consequently an even more dynamic live performance. When I saw them in Leeds they just seemed to feed off each other and each song had impressive improvised sections without obstructing the whole feel or integrity of the song; an impressive feat that made a great atmosphere and an even more brilliant gig.
Although Warpaint’s music might not be to everybody’s taste I hope that I’ve maybe persuaded you to give them a try and not bore you to tears! Their tour this summer is going to include Leeds festival so maybe pop along and give their set a try if you’re around!
1) Orginal Image