L.A.-based indie psych band Warpaint have taken almost four years to craft a follow up to their debut album, The Fool, and it has finally arrived. Stream the band's self-titled album above, courtesy of Spotify.
Preceded by singles "Love is to Die" and "Biggy," the album contains 12 songs of smoky, hypnotic rock, clocking in at just over 51 minutes. Production was handled by British heavyweight Flood, and frequent Radiohead collaborator (and Atoms for Peace member) Nigel Godrich mixed the album.
In a recent interview with NME, lead vocalist Emily Kokal called Warpaint a slight departure from the band's more guitar-oriented debut, noting the inclusion of "things that have drum machines and ambience, music that's more than standard rock." The album's song were also composed by the entire band during jam sessions, also marking a deviation from Warpaint's original formula.
Both changes -- in sound and composition -- are palpable throughout Warpaint. Genres such as trip-hop, disco and synth pop pervade the songs "Hi," "Disco/Very" and "Drive," respectively, and the band does a standup job of adapting this new palette of influences into their distinctive sound. With the exception of "Disco/Very," the lone upbeat song on this album, you couldn't mistake any of Warpaint's tracks for those of another band.
Most of that is probably due to the changes in songwriting, which thrust Warpaint's rhythm section further into the spotlight. Drummer Stella Mozgawa and bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg are masters of making a 4/4 time signature seem infinitely more complicated, as is evident during the second half breakdown of "Teese," and while their playing isn't consistently complex, it's always groovy. Chemistry between a drummer and a bass player is a key element of a great band, and Warpaint's got it.
Warpaint is a mysterious, intriguing listen, and one that will almost surely enlarge the fan base of this young band. They're already scheduled to play Coachella 2014, and more summer festivals are sure to follow. Head over to Warpaint's official website for more tour info.