Thursday, September 29, 2016

Album Review :: Warpaint - Heads Up


Heads Up

September 23 2016 (Rough Trade)


Words: Alison Mack

Languid and woozy, the third studio album by the LA indie rock girls Warpaint is filled with plenty of addictive touches and melodic hooks in its 52 minutes of varyingly textured love songs.

Taking a new approach on this outing of writing either singularly or in pairs, 'Heads Up' strikes at both the experimental as well as the Warpaint familiars. Bringing producer Jacob Bercovici back, they debuted less single 'New Song' showing their alt-powerpop cool, giving an indication of what else might be to come.

With the likes of 'By Your Side', which envelops an almost industrial sound against whispered vocals, the six-minute 'So Good' enriched by that enigmatic bassline of Jenny Lee Lindberg, and the lushly driven, dark wave notes of 'The Stall', the album's first half feels easy and like they are coasting into the second part on the winds of a jam session.

'Don’t Let Go' ushers in haunting acoustic guitars in this standout mid-tempo number, while 'Dre' - in tribute to the Dr. rapper - sees their R&B and rap influences interrupt with a splash of reverbed vocals and spacey rhythms. After taking the title track's echoing piano opening that burgeons out with a touch of funk and post-punk, the album closes on strains of acoustic guitars  and the sound of rain on 'Today Dear', as Emily Kokal's expresses the chilling refrain, “I saw my blood drawn out, saw my flood run dry / I have no fear, my dear / Today, no moment will pass me by.” With 'Heads Up' Warpaint mark the return of a newly reinvigorated sounding band.

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