Four years is a long time for a band. All matter of things can happen; a member leaves, the principal songwriter develops writer’s block, or a band can simply just break up. In the case of Warpaint, it has been that length of time since any new material, with their 2010 debut The Fool being the last release by the band. With an album containing such beautifully haunting vocals and hypnotic sounds, it’s hard to believe more of a fuss wasn’t made over such a long wait for the follow up. However, the wait is finally over, Warpaint’s self-titled second album has finally arrived.
Some of you may have been waiting four years for this, but the album itself will require you wait a little longer for the effects. Here is an album that, much like a fine bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, needs time to breath in order for you to experience the full flavours that are hidden within.
The record is one continuous wave of hypnotic beats and haunting vocals, providing a similar atmosphere throughout, while changing in tempo when necessary. The first half of the album begins with a raw, tribal energy that has always been present in Warpaint’s music. Songs ‘Keep It Healthy’, ‘Love is to Die’ and ‘Hi’ each comprise of ghostly backing vocals, entrancing drums and various instrument blends. These songs build a platform for which the rest of the album can build on from, as ‘Disco//Very’ demonstrates. From the tribal vibe we now enter Warpaint’s own private interpretation of disco. A song fuelled by a mid-tempo drumbeats, driven traces of guitar and chant-influenced backing vocals, this is Warpaint at their most lively. Get ready for the come down.
If the first half of the album was someone climbing a mountain (and ‘Disco//Very’ the celebratory boogie at the top), then the second half is their descent. Each track is an example of Warpaint slowing the tempo down. Songs ‘Go In’, ‘Feeling Alright’ and ‘CC’ all see the tempo drop, while maintaining the band’s unique mix of mesmerizing vocals and beats. The penultimate song ‘Drive’, whose guitars give an Eastern sound to the track, captures the most beautiful moment of the record as the lead vocals effortlessly coo, “I’m a lucky child”. This song is a hidden highlight of the record. The final song ‘Son’ is a sombre piano piece detaching us from the previous tracks. With marching drums in the background Warpaint solemnly lead us to the end of our journey. Just remember, for maximum satisfaction, this is a journey best travelled again.
Warpaint is available now on iTunes via Rough Trade Records.