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"The color of my native skin
Colored into a color never seen
A sun so full arises."
Native American warpaint symbolized an ominous presence, danger, strength, bravery, power, male aggression. Even though there’s no testosterone in the band members of Warpaint, there’s certainly no shortage of attitude, tension, edge and darkness in the Alternative/Indie girl group’s music –- a quality that largely sets them apart from most other contemporary female musicians, whose vocals and songwriting are often too twee and cutesy. In comparison, Warpaint paint soundscapes using a more complex sonic palette consisting of various colors, shades and nuances worthy of their band name.
Warpaint’s debut album The Fool (2010) and the 2008 E.P. Exquisite Corpse (mixed by ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante) put these young female musicians in a league of their own, and their self-titled sophomore album only serves to prove that that’s right where they belong. Produced by Flood (U2, Depeche Mode) and Alan Moulder (Foals, Interpol), and mixed by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Air), Warpaint exudes a lugubrious, opaque ambience shrouded in a luxurious, elegant sheen and lysergic, slightly eerie mysticism.
The album cover’s gorgeous artwork -– hazy, layered, mirage-like images –- is a good indication of the atmosphere-heavy, often languid and hypnotic music that is influenced by related music genres such as ‘80s Ethereal Wave (Cocteau Twins), early ‘90s Shoegaze (Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine) and contemporary Dream-Pop (School Of Seven Bells), all of which emphasize sonic textures as much as melody. Psychedelic-tinged songs like Keep It Healthy, Hi, Biggy, Feeling Alright, CC, and the single, Love Is To Die, may not stick in you mind on first listen, but before you know it, they’ll permeate your heart, body and soul.