With reverb soaked guitars, dreamy harmonies, and ethereal, upbeat grooves, Warpaint waste no time in pushing the listener full force into Heads Up, the latest album from the west coast indie collective.
The work serves as a coming-together of the musicians, each involved in various other projects – in the words of bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg: “I think it’s been nice for everybody to step aside and work on their own thing and then come together and work on stuff with us. It feels fresh; it doesn’t feel like we’re burnt out from touring. It’s nice. A fresh perspective.”
This perspective reflects into the album, which comes as a welcome helping of fun, yet equally thought-provoking pop goodness.
The dub beat of the opening ‘White Out’, accompanied by the hypnotic lyrics: “Is there a question not answered in your mind?” sets the pensive tone of the album, a tone which remains throughout upbeat, dancey tracks such as ‘New Song’, to the melancholic ‘Don’t Let Go’.
The whimsical mantras of “I need you now’’ and “Tell me all your secrets”, are accompanied by deep, trap-like bassy elements, brought out in ‘Don’t Wanna’, as the band display a constant sense of versatility even more evident during the opening 808 bass of ‘Dre’, which harks to the hip-hop heritage of the band’s home state.
Combined effortlessly with Warpaint’s own brand of jangly hipster atmospherics, it produces a unique sound – one which carries throughout the length of ‘Heads Up’. This title track shows what Warpaint do best, as grittily picked bass lines punctuate a hazy soundscape of sample-sounding vocals, the drums providing a constant grounding all the while to what is otherwise a very ambient album.
Closing with the comparatively slow ‘Today Dear’, the album finishes solemnly, without the danceable quality which has permeated the other tracks, yet remains poignant and captivating. Heads Up is a breath of fresh air to Warpaint’s career, sure to please diehard fans and entice new listeners.
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Photo: Brooklyn Vegan