After their overwhelmingly positive responses to 2010 debut The Fool, Warpaint received mostly average reviews for their sophomore self-titled release. To the rejoice of fans worldwide, Warpaint has triumphantly returned to form with 2016’s Heads Up.
Their third full-length LP see the overall strengthening of their well-loved sound with electric undertones, coming from the group’s desire to translate the energy of their live show into the new record. Maintaining their trademark dreaminess but overall the music is much more danceable, with at times, hints of disco thrown in. The culmination of this can be seen in their first single from the record ‘New Song’ as well as the delightful ‘Not Alone’ in which they lovingly declare “Got my girls, I’m not alone.”
Jenny Lee Lindberg’s bass has always been a prominent and welcome feature in Warpaint’s sound and continues to shine through the release, particularly in ‘White Out‘, ‘New Song‘, and ‘Heads Up‘. Lindberg also triumphs in the incredibly groovy ‘So Good‘. The track ends with vivacious, driving synth that begins to take centre-stage towards the track’s end before abruptly ending, turning the focus back to the incredible instrumentation.
‘Don’t Wanna’ brings a welcome surprise of 80’s pop inspired synth. Even with very minimal instrumentation, the track maintains Warpaint‘s signature groove with their clever use of a drum machine. Warpaint succeeds similarly in the echoey, minimal ‘Dre’. The record ends on the acoustic, gloomy ‘Today Dear’. Although an undoubtedly beautiful track, it’s a disappointing conclusion to such a lively album, especially considering Warpaint have injected such energy into the record.
With Warpaint being such a musically articulate group, there’s never been much room for progression of their already elaborate sound. However, Heads Up proves they’re capable of maintaining their much-loved marquee flavour while still giving listeners a little extra on the side. The band last graced our shores in early 2014, and with the strength of Heads Up we can’t wait to welcome them back with open arms.
Heads Up is out now via Remote Control Records