Los Angeles based band Warpaint define their genre of music as ‘smooth and smoky’. Whilst that is not a specific genre I was aware of per se, you can’t deny that their music is exactly that. What you also can’t deny, is that they’re all exceptionally talented musicians.
Perhaps their biggest criticism is that at times they may just try a little bit too hard. For the unprepared, that smoke can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. Many may not have the patience to wait for the shapes to emerge from the haze. Which is understandable, as at times it can get very smoky (think shamans, teepees and spiritual journeys).
Their ethereal tendencies are given credence though by their originality and willingness to experiment. They also have a stirring energy that they all too infrequently unleash.
It is exactly that version of Warpaint however that the band have set out to showcase on their third album Heads Up.
Aptly named, ’New Song’, is the exemplary track that represents a real divergence from their previous offerings. An upbeat pop song no less, and a damn good one at that. Complete with catchy melody and a sing-a-long chorus.
Then there is the titular track ‘Heads Up’ and its feverish jamming that drives relentlessly forward.
On ‘So Good’ a sumptuous beat leads the way as instruments and voices drift in and out, pirouetting around the intensifying beat, until they are all entwined in a raucous dance.
“Perhaps their biggest criticism is that at times they may just try a little bit too hard”
Though these kinds of songs are still in the minority, the album is all the better for their addition. Yet there is still plenty to keep the band’s loyal fans happy.
Warpaint haven't quite set out to redefine their self-proclaimed genre, but they may just have added a disco ball to that smoke filled teepee.