Review: Warpaint’s ‘Heads Up’ Is L.A. Dream-Rockers at Their Most Danceable
L.A.’s Warpaint deliver their dream-rock mysticism with such chill confidence and casual concision you almost miss all the different sounds they pull together: There are filaments of So Cal shamanism from the Doors to Jane’s Addiction, the drolly quaking minimalist groove architecture of the XX, the billowy-sleeve, love-hound romanticism of Kate Bush, gothic garage rock, winter-sun post-punk. Their third full length brings out the inchoate danceability in their sound more than ever, steeped in the band’s recent R&B and hip-hop listening. “New Song” throbs and glides with bright disco elation, while “Whiteout” enshrouds an austerely crackling dub-funk beat in refracted guitar shimmer as interweaving voices resolve in a Sufi state of opaque desire. Even when it bounces, the music is still tense and moodily textured, with Jenny Lee Lindberg’s distracted bass rumbles pushing ghostly vocals that whisper towards epiphany: “Tell me all your secrets,” they advise over a humid strut on “So Good,” adding the payoff “I’ll tell you mine.” Sounds good, but sifting through Warpaint’s mysteries is going to take a while.