Warpaint – Warpaint
Warpaint founder Theresa Wayman’s assertion that the follow-up to The Fool would be a minimalist affair is made flesh on this, the LA quartet’s second album. Raw and elementary, it locks down their methodology, its songs at first seeming to overlap and merge, impossible to separate. Built on a drifting bed of hazy beats and coloured by Wayman’s spidery arpeggios, it’s far less immediate than their debut and demands real diligence from the listener.
Flanked by Wayman and Jenny Lee Lindberg, Emily Kokal’s plaintive vocals are unadorned and often placed mix-front. Largely hook-free, the album's jam-based origins lead to little shift in either tempo or tone; dreamy trailer Love is to Die is as upbeat as the band gets here. But venture into Warpaint's lower levels and it emerges as a courageous and uncommonly focussed piece; a tacit dismissal of the constraints and expectations of guitar pop. [Gary Kaill]