The Fool

These L.A. guitar hypnotists tap into a tradition of desert-rock mysticism as old as the Doors. But they're introspective, female art rockers, not peyote-pumped shaman dudes. Gingerly funked-up bass lines and treble-trance guitars recall the xx and Yeah Yeah Yeahs at their most reticent. The real action on Warpaint's full-length debut happens in the tension between the music's ethereal boil and singer-guitarist Emily Kokal's lyrical evocations of all-too-human anxiousness — like the way the band builds a space jam out of a Cat Power-esque piano rumination called "Lissie's Heart Murmur." It takes a little work, but once you find your way in, this stuff casts a shadow hard to shake.

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