Warpaint set for UK tour
Rock depths and pop heights are reached by the LA foursome
This article is from 2011.
Warpaint’s dream-warped modus operandi goes something like this: they lure you into an indie-rock reverie, nag at your heart-strings with gauzy nostalgia, interweave magic with silvery guitars – and then they haul your ass onto the dancefloor.
Take last year’s single, ‘Undertow’, for example – lifted from their mesmeric debut album, The Fool (Rough Trade). It spends its first two-and-a-half minutes pulling you under its gentle, choral spell – all 4AD washes, woozy riffs and 80s-flick dream sequences – before whipping the gossamer hammock from under you with a post-punk bass-line and brawny drum-beat that’s snappy, smart and made for dancing.
And that is how the LA four-piece work their iridescent charms.
Their eponymous new single takes this dramatic tussle between lush rock and tribal rhythms – between blissful and disquieting – further. It’s enhanced by a promo video that pits our deadbeat day-to-day against the fathomless lure of the underworld, as our protagonists are dragged from their humdrum existence and plummeted into the depths of the ocean – ballgowns, china tea-sets and all. Warpaint’s long-held mission to be ‘going for an overall underwater mood’ has never been more apparent.
Formed in 2004, and following several personnel changes plus a dalliance with the LA mainstream (RZA went to their shows; one of them dated a Red Hot Chili Pepper; their original drummer, Shannyn Sossamon, is a Hollywood actress), Warpaint have settled on a line-up that is greater than the sum of its (terrific) parts: long-term friends Emily Kokal (vocals/guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocals/guitar) and Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass/vocals) are joined by percussive powerhouse Stella Mozgawa on drums.
If the combinatorial sum of Siouxsie and The Cocteaus floats your boat on record, (their 2008 EP, Exquisite Corpse, is also notable), then Warpaint’s live show truly conquers: they delve rock depths, and scale pop heights, and produce something akin to euphoria.
Queen’s Hall, 668 2019, 23 Aug, 8pm, £19, part of the Edge festival.