Warpaint, the indie-rock quartet, are back after an absence of six years. The band which is made up of Emily Kokal, Jenny Lee Lindberg, Stella Mozgawa and Theresa Wayman have been busy with many other projects including touring and raising families, during the intervening years. The band is also embarking on an extensive tour in support of the new album, ‘Radiate Like This’.
Three songs on the album, ‘Champions’, ‘Stevie‘ and ‘Hips‘ have been previously released. It was clear from those songs that ‘Radiate Like This’ was going to be special. The three songs fit perfectly into the rest of the album which has the band delivering their trademark textured grooves.
Kicking off with ‘Champions’ the album is like an aural mandala. The spacey textured beats and the layers of female harmonies inducing a state of bliss. This is perfectly captured by the lyrics and melody on ‘Hard To Tell You’
under a falling sky / a billion stars align / I’m feeling another way / it’s pulling me into light
The songs vary from revealing intimate moments, like on ‘Altar’ with its hypnotic groove and faintly discordant keyboards “you’ve always seemed to open me / like a flower /open me, open me / you’ve always seemed to naturally / have that power” and ‘Melting’ which opens with steel drums and speaks of love and longing, “you’re the only one I want / you know I need you around”. On other tracks, the band addresses larger issues such as on ‘Champion’ which is an ode to self-belief “i’m an ocean / breathe in / in and out / I’m a million years old / i’m a champion”. ‘Trouble’ shares a title with a Lindsey Buckingham song, it has a smidgen of Edie Brickell, but ultimately the harmonies and theme of lost love expressed in it would not have been out of place on a Fleetwood Mac album when that band was going through its fraught relationship problems. On the last song ‘Send Nudes’ the quartet reveal their playful side – asking a lover to send some nude pics and promising to share a cup of noodles one day. It’s a reminder perhaps that even Buddha laughed.
Much has changed in world in the intervening six years since Warpaint last released an album, one constant that has remained is the ability of these four women to develop glorious dollops of dream pop. Welcome back Warpaint.