(written Feb 2011)
a cynic reborn – I must admit, there have been times when I’ve become so cynical that I can’t even listen to the radio. I fear that I will sound either, a) redundant or b) like an old rocker, saying stuff like, “that song sounds like <insert band est. circa 1990’s>.”
Then there are other times where I listen to the radio and hear a band, and I feel as inspired as a teenager. That’s how I felt when I heard Warpaint for the first time. And hearing them again today on FBI Radio was like re-living that first time (no lame virginity analogies here). Their sound has depth. Not just sonically, but musically. Warpaint don’t waffle on with esoteric lyrics, nor do they add an electronic 8-bit sample in attempt to add retro cred. They do however cast a very large shadow on other bands attempting a similar sound and sentiment. They have the subtlety that simmers …. Leaving a shimmering jet stream in your mind after each song.
Their swirly guitars, interesting chord changes and optimistic drums intrigue. Meshed with classically emotive lyric like “the endless sky, keeps my head back, full of swimming thoughts”, sung with lofty yet hefty vocals.
It must have come across to Travis at Rough Trade records with similar fervour. Warpaint were signed to the label in late 2009 and allowed the ladies of Warpaint to make their music their way. That method being very effective for Rough Trades’ other artists such as Taken by Trees and The Strokes. It also must have had the ‘sit up and listen’ affect on the producers of David Bowies tribute album “We Were So Turned On”, where they perform Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ Could they get any cooler? :-p oh wait, yeah… they have associations with other famous-ish peeps and muscos’ -not mentioned here. But the Warpaint lasses manage to avoid any fashionable attention or coat-tail riding.
At the risk of sounding old, I often listen to the new-er music and cringe. Depending on which article you read, I am either Gen X or Gen Y- old enough to see how young Two Door Cinema Club actually are, but young enough to tap my foot. So when I hear Warpaint I am relieved. Relieved that the kids get it. Catchy indie pop it aint’, it’s just good solid music.
So, I have made the decision to listen to music with an open heart, cuz there is still stuff out there to be done, songs to be written and sounds to explore. Warpaint have knocked this cynic out of their office chair and back into the ring.
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