I’m standing on the train to work, and Warpaint‘s “Biggy” is in my ears, perfectly in line with our slow roll over the rails. I realize that this is the forth morning straight that this band has backed my morning commute. Normally, I can’t stand repetition, and feel every day deserves a unique soundtrack – a different vibe, a changing beat, a varied rhythm. Yet I still get that satisfaction with the femme quartet’s self-titled 2013 release, which serves as the longest album out of the four they’ve dropped in their ten years as a band.
Chances are you’ve heard a few rumors about this band (and maybe even a song or two). Despite what you might have heard about the James-Blake-and-Chili-Pepper-banging lead singer, Theresa Wayman, she would have made the spotlight on her own eventually. She’s an actor-musician — you might have seen her in “The Rules of Attraction” with bandmate Shannyn Sossamon — and although multi-talented artists can be hit if you throw a rock any direction in LA, there’s something extremely nurturing and likable about her. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s a mom, but she naturally lulls her listeners into a vocal harmony hammock and rocks it.
Wayman’s lyrics are chilling at times, warm at others, and somehow make her much more human than her indie starlet peers. In the album’s lead single, “Love is to Die,” her croon of “I’m not alive / I’m not alive enough” directly mimics the chorus’ idiosyncratic “Love is to die / Love is to not die / Love is to live” and makes for an emotional inconsistency that is more relatable than it is an oxymoron. She’s the voice in your head – that unsure societal collapse between self-reflection and comparison to others.
The album’s best two tracks were turned into a double feature music video, “Disco//very” and “Keep It Healthy.” The concept is simple. “Disco//very” represent the sun/day and “Keep It Healthy” represents the moon/night, giving the video a yin and yang dynamic. It doesn’t look like it broke the bank to produce, but it’s done simply and done well. If you didn’t grow up in the suburbs or have a penchant for skating, the nostalgia factor might be lost on you. However, if you’re into badass women who can make walking down the street look like a party, you should check this video out regardless of past experience.
Better yet, check out the whole album. My advice is to listen to it when you’re feeling kind of melancholy. Especially the song “Tesse.” This song always shows me the magic of the album. As Wayman admits, “Looked at the moon tonight / I can’t get enough.” Well, neither can I.
Get lunar with us and check out Warpaint, then leave a comment to share your experience with it.