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Live Gig Video: Warpaint play four tracks in studio for Seattle radio station KEXP

 
By on Friday, 28th October 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

Warpaint graced Seattle radio station KEXP’s presence last month, performing a series of songs off their new album. ‘Heads Up’, the girl group’s third studio album, was released in mid-September on Rough Trade Records. You can catch up on Adam’s review of the long player through here. In their radio session with KEXP, Warpaint performed ‘Whiteout’, ‘No Way Out’, ‘New Song’ and ‘Disco/Very’ from the new album. You can watch the session in full technicolour glory below. To have a read through the entire Warpaint archive on TGTF, use this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0JqmAbe0jw[/youtube]

 

Album Review: Warpaint – Heads Up

 
By on Thursday, 22nd September 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Warpaint Heads Up album coverHaving just passed their 12th year anniversary as a band, with two previously released studio albums including their critically acclaimed self-titled second album from 2014, these girls need no introduction. However, with their third album out in less than 24 hours, I suppose it won’t hurt to shout out… Fully female L.A. based dream pop four-piece Warpaint are set to release their eagerly awaited third studio album ‘Heads Up’, due out tomorrow on Rough Trade Records. In announcing the album, the girls released an accompanying single, ironically titled ‘New Song’ back in August (read my review here).

After an interview in NME surfaced in March 2015 stating that Warpaint didn’t want to do another album, fans thought this day would never come, especially as the statement was backed up by the band taking somewhat of a hiatus to work on their own solo projects throughout the whole of 2015. During which time, bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg released a solo album titled ‘Right On’, reviewed by Carrie back here. After regrouping in early 2016, not just with each other but also with former producer Jacob Bercovici (who produced their 2009 debut EP ‘Exquisite Corpse’), the band wasted no time. By May of this year, the record was done and what an album it truly is.

‘Heads Up’ explores a mature side of Warpaint, and in ways previous efforts lacked. Rather than providing a sonic overload within each song, the quartet managed to simplify their approach to song writing, which gives a lot more time and space to absorb the sweet vibes their providing . This approach is apparent when listening to the album opener ‘White Out’. If you listened to the bass, guitar and drums in isolation, each hint at totally separate directions to the next, with very subtle connections to each other within note choices and rhythmic patterns. But when taken as a unit, they work perfectly together.

The guitar is the constant in this case, taking somewhat of a backseat role following its introduction. As the bass and drums dance around it with rather busy yet poppy patterns, Kokal’s vocals sprinkle the track with an equally upbeat topline produced by her imperfectly sensual vocal tone. The bass specifically gives the impression that it’s locking with the vocal rhythm more so than the drum pattern, which, although is quite rare in pop, it pays off and helps strengthen the top line. The drums within ‘White Out’ have a higher level of complexity, ironic given that for a lot of beginning writing sessions for the album Stella Mozgawa wrote her parts on sample pads and drum machines, due to an injury that left her unable to physically play. With this in mind we must applaud her, every pattern is played for a reason. The ghost notes aren’t for flair, they add that extra burst of movement to the track, whilst the off beat, dynamic contrasts on the hi-hats keep the listener hooked from start to finish.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1BqwONm4TE[/youtube]

‘By Your Side’ showcases what we know and love about Warpaint’s blended voices, an unconventional style of harmony in today’s pop music. The girls sing about what sounds like being in a relationship with a cheater, but with a darker, slightly sinister twist. The lack of repetition within the music and a topline that’s shared between two or more members causes the focus of the song to wander, a purposely unclear melody used to great effect. The track oozes a creepy, ‘you fuck with us, we’ll fuck with you’ side Warpaint unseen until now.

Further down the album, tracks such as ‘So Good’ and title track ‘Heads Up’ could easily be considered modern day alt-pop gems. The diatonic harmony within provides an easy to grasp understanding of the music that, combined with the fun, poppy grooves, gives both of these numbers commercial appeal. The focus towards electronic elements and the vocals sway these tracks, and the record for that matter, away from being so heavily guitar orientated, the way ‘The Fool’ and ‘Warpaint’ were. Lindberg put it best, by describing the new material as “an evolution of our band. It sounds like a mature version of Warpaint”. The ‘get in, get to the point and get to the next track’ approach of ‘Heads Up’ as an album is a great mark of their newfound professionalism.

Underestimating how far these four will go to provoke various emotions within a record would be a mistake. ‘Dre’, aside from being somewhat of an ode to influential American hip-hop producer Dr. Dre, is one that physically and sonically takes you by surprise eight songs into the album. Following the deeply emotive ‘Don’t Let Go’, ‘Dre’ has a huge, industrial sounding drum part that paves the way for an eerily beautiful, long-held chord progression that never seems to rest. With the pads acting as the foundations for the harmony, it leaves the window completely open for all remaining elements to create a sonic picture of what it would be like if Dr. Dre collaborated with Warpaint.

Easily Warpaint’s most diverse effort to date, ‘Heads Up’ shows these ladies are equally at home with abstract, avant garde sounds (‘By Your Side’) and poppish new wave (‘So Good’). The new rule of no overthinking works fully in their favour, which in turn gives us a clearer view into the true soul of Warpaint.

8/10

Heads up! ‘Heads Up’ is due out tomorrow, the 23rd of September, on Rough Trade Records. If you’re as excited about it as I am, you’ll already have it on pre-order. Warpaint are currently on tour in the U.S., which will be followed by with a short string of dates in UK and Europe. Find out whether they’re coming to you and get your tickets through this link. For more of TGTF’s coverage on Warpaint, go here.

 

Single Review: Warpaint – New Song

 
By on Monday, 8th August 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Warpaint are cool. Everybody knows it. Their free spirited demeanour, which comes through their music, is something that instantly attracts any listener. You might not get it, but you like it. They were doing hipster before it was stretched to extremes and became annoying. Basically, they were doing it when it was cool and new and interesting. On a personal note, as a bass player, anyone who looks that cool playing a white, vintage Rickenbacker 4001 in an Adidas hoody has got my attention.

And now that I’ve got yours, the girls are back with a brand new single aptly titled ‘New Song’ because why not? They’re Warpaint and they can. It’s been released ahead of their recently announced third studio album, ‘Heads Up’ to be released later this year.

‘New Song’ is everything one would expect from Warpaint; It’s cool and emotive with the right amount of obscurity. It’s also intelligent, seductive and without a doubt grooves so hard. The track presents a perfect blend of classic Warpaint and the new, much anticipated Warpaint material. In the song, Stella Mozgawa lays down the foundations in the form of a fat disco drum groove, supported by Jenny Lee Lindberg’s syncopated, off-beat bass line. Both bandmates collaborate for that perfectly sculpted bass and drum sound heard on their previous albums ‘The Fool’ and ‘Warpaint’.

The textural effect of synth pads is replaced with a rhythmic lead pattern, made from samples of the band’s autotuned voices. In doing this, they have structured the song such that each element is individually contributing to the track, rather than just being a supporting player. This idea carries on too into the guitar parts. On their previous efforts, they relied on a lot of reverb and delay as they quietly yet beguillingly noodled around chords. However, on ‘New Song’, the guitars focus around one motif that appears after each chorus and acts as checkpoint throughout the song, allowing the song to sink deeper into the mind of the listener upon each return.

The new release doesn’t exactly scream classic Warpaint, but that’s okay. Instead, the single gives us a glimpse of how the girls are progressing and how they can change things up in their music. ‘New Song’ provides comfort in knowing the strides Warpaint are making to return, and if this is just a snapshot of what it will be, I can’t wait for the album to drop!

8/10

Stream ‘New Song’, the new one (no pun intended) from Los Angeles rockers Warpaint below. Their third album ‘Heads Up’ will be released via Rough Trade Records on 23rd of September. For more coverage of Warpaint on TGTF, follow this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PhAMlJDMeI[/youtube]

 

Album Review: jennylee – right on!

 
By on Friday, 18th December 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Mia Kirby

JennyLee_RightOn_cover

Though her band Warpaint is still very much active, bassist and vocalist Jenny Lee Lindberg has just released a solo album called ‘right on!’ under the unassuming moniker jennylee.  Warpaint released new music earlier this year and have indicated that they will release a full album in 2016, so there is no fear of them disbanding, but Lindberg and guitarist Theresa Wayman have both recently undertaken solo projects, and Lindberg has clearly made the most of her free time with ‘right on!’

The first thing you might notice about ‘right on!’ is the stylisation of the titles, which are written in all lowercase letters. This might seem overly precious on first glance, but it hints at the subtlety of the songs themselves, which are clean and crisp but presented without excessive fanfare. The music on the album, as you might expect, centres around the momentum of Lindberg’s cleverly composed bass lines. “My love has always been movement,” she explains, “and it dawned on me one day, how cool would it be if I could make music to move to?”

Lindberg has taken her time creating this record, allowing it ample space to achieve the movement she desired. She began writing the songs during the making of Warpaint’s self-titled second album, and after the touring cycle for that album was complete, she set her sights on bringing the new songs to life. Working alone allowed her the freedom to create in a “stream-of-consciousness mode”, and the songs as such feel very organic, with strong suggestions of ’90s style alt-rock, which Lindberg acknowledges, saying “I wanted [the record] to sound raw and elemental. [It] reminds me of my youth.”

Moving in a different direction from her work with the all-female Warpaint, Lindberg invited a group of male colleagues to assist with ‘right on!’, including co-producer Norm Block, who also plays drums in her touring band. “I wanted [some] masculine energy on this album,” she admits, and it is perhaps that masculine energy that gives the album a sharper focus and more immediate impact than Warpaint’s muted style. The production of ‘right on!’ is clear and precise, keeping the vocals and the rhythmic foundation at the forefront of the overall sound.

Opening track ‘blind’ is a bit of a slow starter, as Lindberg intones the vocals in a trance-like chant over a starkly angular guitar melody. But ‘boom boom’ quickly picks up the pace with a driving bass riff and an anxious drum rhythm under the intensely restrained vocal delivery, and lead single ‘never’ is concise and direct, led to its dynamic climax by an arrestingly hypnotic guitar line.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/UJ9Wkg7O7P4[/youtube]

The stylistic guitar melody carries over into outstanding track ‘long lonely winter’, where Lindberg combines a cool ambience appropriate to the title with a dirtier, more sensual rhythmic undertone. ‘bully’ and ‘riot’ are darker and more deliberately aggressive, with lyrics like “I’m gonna get her / I’m gonna tear her inside out” in the former and the growled repeat of “it’s a riot” in the latter. These two songs seem a bit contrived, as if Lindberg felt the need to prove her toughness and tenacity in this first solo outing, and ‘riot’ in particular breaks the overall mood and flow of the album. But the ambience is regained in ‘he fresh’, with Lindberg’s smooth vocal delivery and a clean yet soulful rhythmic underpinning.

Lindberg allows her vocals to take center stage in a remarkably effective fashion on album closer ‘real life’, alternating between a soft whisper and a throaty snarl over the austere guitar line.  Layered vocal tracks create an echoing effect as she trails off in the final repeated line “I see I’m not so limber…”

Despite that closing statement, ‘right on!’ is a testament to Lindberg’s musical flexibility and rhythmic prowess. Here she has taken her established bass-playing strength and expanded upon it to put together an album that is remarkably refined and polished, yet still emotionally potent.

7.5/10

Jennylee’s solo album ‘right on!’ is available now via Rough Trade Records. TGTF’s previous coverage of Lindberg’s band Warpaint can be found by clicking here.

 

The BBC at Glastonbury 2014 (Saturday): Warpaint cover David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ at the BBC Music Tepee

 
By on Sunday, 29th June 2014 at 3:00 pm
 

Wherever you will be hanging your hat this weekend, whether you’re joining the sheep at Worthy Farm or you’ve got your feet up in front of the telly, us here at TGTF will have you covered when it comes to Glastonbury 2014. The dedicated people they are, the folks at the BBC will be working all hours during the festival and feeding us live coverage as it becomes available. What does this mean for you? We’ll be passing along all the best bits to you, our faithful readers.

This is an interesting cover, for sure, and what better place than the leafy, hippie environs of the BBC Music Tent at Glastonbury 2014? Warpaint‘s cover of David Bowie‘s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ from Saturday is, in a word, intriguing. Watch the video below.

For more of the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage online, head this way. Stay tuned for more videos from Glasto 2014 right here on TGTF.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ou7VwS3pSw[/youtube]

 

The BBC at Glastonbury 2014 (Saturday): Warpaint playing ‘Keep It Healthy’ at the Other Stage

 
By on Saturday, 28th June 2014 at 11:00 pm
 

Wherever you will be hanging your hat this weekend, whether you’re joining the sheep at Worthy Farm or you’ve got your feet up in front of the telly, us here at TGTF will have you covered when it comes to Glastonbury 2014. The dedicated people they are, the folks at the BBC will be working all hours during the festival and feeding us live coverage as it becomes available. What does this mean for you? We’ll be passing along all the best bits to you, our faithful readers.

They might have been a long way from home (Los Angeles), but American girl group Warpaint, but they brought their sultry rock sound to the Other Stage early in the day Saturday. Here’s the quartet playing ‘Keep It Healthy’ amidst the fog machines at Glastonbury 2014.

For more of the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage online, head this way. Stay tuned for more videos from Glasto 2014 right here on TGTF.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6ka-C6IEIk[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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