WARPAINT. Koko. 18th February 2014.

19 02 2014


“I’ve got a friend with a melody that will kill.
She will eat you alive.”

Everything I’ll ever write about Warpaint will just be a poor attempt at saying something I haven’t said before. Even that sentence is weak. To me, I think they are everything a band should be. On record they send you to a different world. When you see them live it is like you’re in a dream- the reality after all of this is of course, pretty shit. But Warpaint have this beautiful way of making you feel something truly precious as you watch them sing the songs that make you shut your eyes, sway and dream. See on record I suppose it is quite easy to do but to able to do it live, must take some work right? Not if you’re Warpaint. They make it look so easy, and if you’re like me and musically untalented- you will leave a Warpaint show wishing you could play something.

Before I get into the magical world that Warpaint led the crowd into last night, I must mention that their support act All We Are are bloody brilliant. As I was listening to them I immediately thought of Baltimore’s finest, Beach House. Last time I saw Warpaint the brilliant PINS supported them. Their ferocious and sinister music was the opposite of what Warpaint offer, but I loved it. Then again, I just really love PINS and would happily watch them live over and over again. All We Are have this gorgeous ethereal sound, and I truly hope that the crowd left as fans if they weren’t already. They too, like Warpaint make you shut your eyes and sway to their delicate sounds.

Warpaint’s setlist is a wonderful mix of new and old tracks. Their new record is stunning live. Disco/Very live is one of the best things I have ever seen. Warpaint aren’t really a band you can dance to; they are a band to dream to but Disco/Very is a song that just makes you jolt your body about in whatever way you want.  I just LOVE the lyric, “Only in the sound of the voices I scream.” If anything, Warpaint stand for freedom. They make you feel entirely free as you watch them. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a band and had a constant smile on my face, until last night. There is something special about Koko that just made it perfect for Warpaint to play here. I saw them play Brixton Academy and I honestly think their show at Koko had a lot more soul to it. I don’t know what it was to do with, all I know is that it was a pleasure to watch and be part of.

For some reason I decided to have a little cry when they played Undertow. I wasn’t expecting it, but it just happened. There is a lot of sentimental value to that song for me, but I have no idea why I had to bloody cry! They played Billie Holiday which was like being guided through a dream and into the unknown. I just want to go back to Disco/Very because I REALLY love Jenny’s voice on this. All of their voices together sound like haunting chants; as of they are calling you towards something quite eerie but you go alone with it because it feels right. Drive is powerful to witness live; the lyrics are beautiful to this one and I think it is the way that Emily sings this song that makes it feel quite sacred. Apparently Baby was down as part of the encore, but it didn’t happen. I wish it did but they closed the set with Elephants which is pretty much one of the best moments of musical history….EVER. The song on record is a forceful thing, but to see it live is something else.

Watching Warpaint live is like watching a band play in their rehearsal space. It feels very personal but not intrusive. Once you see them live, you simply don’t stop. I feel as if I am missing something with knowing I won’t see them again until they come back down here. Warpaint live is a salvation for the soul. It is escapism and discovery. They are everything a band should be. They way they perform together is such a joy to watch, you sort of can’t imagine music without them. What did we do before them? The band formed on Valentine’s Day 10 years ago and are evidently one of the strongest bands around. My record collection would have been lonely without Warpaint.

I found myself listening intensely to them last night with my eyes shut, but when I looked around I saw a lot of people were having the same reaction as myself. There was one guy in the crowd who had enviable dance moves. If anyone knows him, he was the guy with a white t-shirt near the middle with a beard and tied up hair- if he’s your pal, I do hope you go out dancing with him and you learn from him because he’s amazing!

Warpaint fans know just how special this band truly are. Their music is treasured and adored for all the right reasons. It is pure and uplifting. It is everything music should be. The way Jenny and Stella laugh with each other on stage, the way Theresa carries herself on stage and the way Emily seems to lose herself the most in the music is what makes them a sacred. Of course they all lose themselves in the music, and that’s how it should be. They just make you want to go home and learn to play an instrument. There is no doubt that they are the best at what they do. And I’m always left in awe of the way Stella plays the drums and sings at the same time. Same with Sandy from Dum Dum Girls and Sophie from PINS. Maybe if my name began with an S I’d be able to do the same.

There are many bands that everyone should see live, but I urge you to see Warpaint wherever and whenever you can. I just wish I was a billionaire so I could pay Warpaint to sing to me everyday. There was something about last night’s show that just left you without words to describe it. You just left in awe knowing you had seen something remarkable.


14 01 2014


Lazy hipsters are wetting themselves over the new Warpaint record; how could they not. One of the most exciting bands to have come out in a long time, so if you’ll lacking excitement for their new record then well…you can’t please everyone can you? That’s why I love Warpaint. They don’t make music for everyone to be pleased about, they make music for themselves THEIR own way. The Fool was a brilliant debut that of course reduced me to tears when I heard it. Their EP beforehand, Exquisite Corpse composed over several ethereal gems that could melt the coldest of hearts. Burgundy and Stars are my go to songs. What do I go to them for? That’s easy. For what I can’t get out of anything else. But I don’t seek much.

How can they top The Fool? I mean that was one of the best things to happen in 2010. I can’t recall much from 2010, but I know that Warpaint played a huge part in it not being spectacularly shit. They make a lot of things less shit, easily. An interview with them 4 years ago, they day before their record came out was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve not done many great things in my life, I’ve not made a difference in others lives but why should it ever be about that? You cannot live through other people trying to please them as you slowly feel the life being sucked out of you.

This is meant to be a review isn’t it? Thing is, you’ll have read all of them by now about this record and you’ll all have seen that everyone pretty much loves it. People are fawning over it like a cute puppy. I don’t blame them. I listened to it yesterday at work whilst trying to concentrate. As I listen to it now, I have no hints of being focused about me. Warpaint do that to me. Everyone has one (or maybe more..I’ve got more) band that just makes them lose their shit. Music is freedom. Warpaint’s second record is like a declaration of that.

The Fool consisted of hypnotic grooves and chants (does anyone else still struggle to work out what is said at the start of Composure?!) Their second release has a cult feel about it. You’d imagine outcasts (don’t waste your time trying to fit in) in forests huddled round singing these songs in unison grateful to be alive. Of course you can just experience this by going to a Warpaint show. I finally saw them live last year and I felt like something had been lifted out of my body. I have no idea. It was out of this world and beyond words. You need bands to have a tight grip on you to make you aware of all you feel, but you don’t need to questions why you feel it.

The best way to listen to this record is how you should have hopefully have listened to their previous releases; with your eyes shut in the dark swaying your body in a gentle fashion and truly feeling certain parts of certain songs. If the bass-line to Biggy doesn’t make you want to just flail your limbs about in a carefree fashion then I have no idea what you are listening to.

When listening to the record it is so important you don’t go with the intent of finding this record’s version of Lissie’s Heart Murmur or Shadows etc. There’s no point because it is obvious that Warpaint are a band that do not have set sound. Why would they want to make the same record again? Bands that do that are bands that do not last. Bands that don’t do that make you feel something that words can never justify. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is at all, when a band can get you really excited for what they are going to do next, that’s when you know something good is happening. It doesn’t matter if it was the likes of My Chemical Romance giving hope to hopeless kids or pre-pubescent kids getting psyched for a One Direction record. Music should make you excited and glad to be alive.

For me I feel Warpaint’s second release is a lot more gentle (who knew!?) in some ways. Take the song Teese; it’s just like some kind of mantra for the soul. But then you have the likes of Disco/Very which makes you want to dance. I’d get up and dance now if I wasn’t so tired. I adore both songs, I can’t pick a favourite. I can’t even try to pick a favourite off this record. I’d be foolish to even try. I’m fully aware that this is a ramble about nothing but I hate writing conventional reviews. If you want that, go read something like Pitchfork. I have no idea. Warpaint just make words spew out of me and the words just make no sense.

All I know is that their live shows are just going to get more and more intense and glorious with songs like this. I really hope they play Disco/Very when I see them next month in London. I just think it’d be the strangest yet brilliant moments in their set. I know I said you shouldn’t compare their records but I must say this- The Fool was the monster rising out of the water. Their second record is the monster mellowing out. That’s the only way I can put it. As I head into a thousand words, I realise that what I just wrote may have just been enough. I’ve had this build-up for this record for so long; all Warpaint fans have. Now it is time, you sort of can’t believe something as beautiful as this record has been released. I know when records come out at the start of the year they seem to have been forgotten about before the summer hits. The thing is, this one is probably going to top all lists in November/December. The same will go for Dum Dum Girls record, Too True when it comes out at the end of the month. I have more sentimental value attached to Dum Dum Girls, but Warpaint have easily put out a record that others aren’t going to stop playing. I still listen to Exquisite Corpse and The Fool; it doesn’t feel right if I don’t listen to them.

If you’re looking to alter your mind state or to have lucid dreams, buy this record. If you need a reason to start your own band, buy this record. Just buy this record. I know I’ve missed out certain things ranging from how Stella KILLS the drums on Feeling Alright to how angelic Theresa’s voice sounds to how Jenny makes me wish I could play the bass because the way she plays is as if she is taking me on some weird trip and how haunting Emily’s voice is- but these are the things I already know. They are the reasons as to why I love them and why I wear my Warpaint tattoo with complete and utter respect and love for them. If anything, their second record just reinforces my love for them.

Warpaint are the band you want to sing you to sleep and to wake you gently in the morning when your eyes sting from the sun’s rays creeping through the curtains.

WARPAINT. Brixton Academy. 30th October 2013.

31 10 2013


For the past few years I had been waiting to write this. It’s pretty obvious how much Warpaint mean to me. I wouldn’t just have any band’s logo tattooed on me!

The bands/singer supporting Warpaint last night were incredible. Martina Topley-Bird set the tone for what was a night that felt like one massive escapism of the mind. Her vocal skills (with questionable sounding from the soundmen) are excellent. Her songs are short, but feel like you are wavering in and out of a fairytale; like you’ve reached the dark side. She’s brilliant, of course she is though. She was on Tricky’s debut record.

Secondly, Manchester’s finest, PINS are on (I’m ignoring the DJs because I don’t think you can really review a DJ set and I wasn’t really paying attention.) PINS are fucking AMAZING. Girls Like Us is a ritualistic listen for me. I play it most days as I make the delightful Met Line journey into work. Faith is one of the best front-women around, she stalks the stage and glares like a panther, and sings with real purpose. I’d been waiting for some time to see PINS live, and to see them supporting Warpaint was an honour.  I was pretty happy to have seen LUVU4LYF live. I bloody adore that song. It fueled my love for them last year. They played as if they were headlining Brixton Academy. I’m pretty sure by the Summer of next year they will be. Anna, Lois, Sophie and Faith all play with this intensity that is missing in a lot of bands. On record you can hear hints of certain eras in music, but when you see them live all of these lame comparisons that (lazy) music journalists lob about just fade away immediately.

You cannot compare PINS to anyone else. When you see them live it is like they are the soundtrack to a reoccuring nightmare that you really don’t mind having; there’s some form of security in Faith’s delicate voice. As I was watching PINS, I started to hate the fact that I have NO musical talent. Oh and let it be known that the best drummers’ names begin with an S; Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) Sandy Vu (Dum Dum Girls) and Sophie from PINS. There are some bands you could quite happily watch live over and over, PINS are easily one of them. I cannot wait to see them with Dum Dum Girls in December.

I must add that before Martina Topley-Bird came on stage, over the PA they were playing Velvet Underground’s debut record. Without that record, a lot of bands that we love never would have formed. Martina dedicated a song to Lou. He lives on in those that love, respect and admire him. Music can never die.

Warpaint walk on to the stage. I feel as if I’m going to throw up. I’ve waited years for this moment. I’m right at the front. It’s happening.

They open with new song, Keep It Healthy. They play some new songs from their second record, which is self-titled. Love Is To Die sounds divine live. Theresa’s vocals live sound stronger than they do on record, and the way she and Emily merge their vocals is just stunning. There is a bond between all of them that makes you want to start your own band. They make you want to ignore the world you are forced to live in, and to go create something else. They create this magical and mysterious world with their music. Of course it is Undertow which sees the crowd make a loud and questionable sound. The jam at the end just reinforces your love for them and your desire to go start your own band.

On record, Warpaint have been the band I’ve used when I cannot sleep or when I’m on the train and all I can see outside is streetlights. They are comfort and they are hope. Witnessing it all live was just as perfect as I hoped it would be. I closed my eyes, I swayed, I sang, I felt like a human being again. I felt as if no one else was in the room. My love for Warpaint has grown, and I’m really not sure how it could. It’s not just their music that makes you love them, it’s the way they are on stage with each other. Jenny and Stella are at the back like two disruptive kids in school. One look from either can make the other erupt into a fit of giggles. This is chemistry at its best. This is how a band should be. Warpaint make you wish you were in their band.

Warpaint aren’t a band that you just listen to in the background or go see live once. They become everything because their music just frees you in the most gentle way possible. They guide you delicately into a world where nothing matters apart from the moments their music creates. Certain parts in songs just set you off, and everything you feel is heightened. Watching them play Majesty live was beautiful. I remember interviewing Theresa three years ago, and I spoke to her about that song. There was something about that song, at that point that just meant a lot. Seeing it live fortunately brought nothing back. If anything, I just appreciated the song even more. Elephants was a riot in the mind. It felt like a catharsis in the purest form seeing it live. But for me, my highlight was Emily coming back on stage on her own to sing Baby. For the most part, their songs feel as if you are floating on water in a dream, a daze. But there is something about Baby that doesn’t distant you from real life. It feels like it is really happening, and the connection is different. It’s a very open and vulnerable song, and that’s probably why I love it. She also sang a bit of Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen’s Because The Night during it.

As the evening came to a close, I started to think about everything Warpaint mean to me. I had finally seen the band live, after waiting for so long. The wait was made up of frustration and the need to just see them live because live music can give you something that just sitting and listening through headphones can’t.

This was a massive struggle to write because I feel as if I should have written more, or gone into more detail. All I know is that this was one of the best shows I’ve been to. There’s a private feeling that cannot be put into words when describing what seeing Warpaint live is like. I think those who have seen them live and TRULY feel their music will know exactly what I mean.

WARPAINT- Love Is To Die.

28 10 2013



With a wealth of sadness covering those who adored, admired, loved and treasured Lou Reed, to find anything good right now in the state of music is difficult. It is obvious who has been influenced by him, and as I go through the musicians I love it is fair to say that most of them would not have existed if it wasn’t for Lou Reed. For some reason now, listening to any music I am starting to pick up on Velvet Underground/Lou Reed influences in their music. His music is going to live on in those who truly loved him.

This leads me onto a band I’ve adored for many years now. I had the honour to interview them three years ago, the day before their debut record, The Fool was released. I’ve never sensed that level of passion of music before from a band. The way they spoke about how they make music to how they are with each other was truly inspiring. To finally hear something new by them, given what has happened in the past 24 hours has truly eased the loss of a man who was nothing short of a poetic genius.

Love Is To Die is yet again, an ethereal gem from Warpaint. It is melancholic but utterly tranquil. Much like songs such as Lissie’s Heart Murmur and Stars, Love Is To Die is a song to escape to. What I immediately noticed about Love Is To Die is that it STILL has that floating on water feel that is found on all of The Fool. You always feel as if you are dreaming when you listen to Warpaint. Theresa’s vocals on Love Is To Die sound so divine and vulnerable. The way she trembles as she sings just makes you really really excited for the new record. I guess you start trembling too.

Warpaint are a band feel very comfortable writing about because they have this brilliant ability of transporting you elsewhere, and it makes you feel free. When you feel free you can unleash everything you feel. Sure it may not be coherent at times, but you still manage to get it out.

On Wednesday I’m FINALLY seeing Warpaint live, PINS are supporting too which makes me even more excited. I’m pretty confident that every feeling I’ve had from listening to Warpaint on record is going to be heightened when I see them live. Love Is To Die is probably going to be one of those songs that just make you close your eyes and sway your cares away. It’s so easy to do it in the comfort of a room with no one present. But to do it in front of the band who set every part of you free, well of course it is going to be intense yet liberating.

Everything is so clear on Love Is To Die. The way Stella drums is perfectly merged with Jenny’s haunting bass playing. Theresa’s vocals flow in and out of you as you sway to Emily’s captivating guitar melodies. I’ve only been home a few hours, but I’ve not really listened to anything else.  Love Is To Die is like a dreamy gaze into the unknown. Pure and gentle. As I listen to Love Is To Die I find myself being reminded of that feeling that hit me when I first heard Warpaint, when I heard Elephants. Elephants is more chaotic than Love Is To Die, but I knew I was hearing something truly special. I wear my Warpaint tattoo with love, pride and respect.

I’ve exhausted every feeling imaginable in past writings about Warpaint, and I know I’ll never get tired of expressing my admiration for them.


WARPAINT-Lissie’s Heart Murmur (take two.)

25 05 2013

“On the edge of the water where the ships pass by,
 And the sound of your laughter in the endless sky.
 Tips my head back, full of swimming thoughts.
 Beneath deep breathing.”


I wrote about Lissie’s Heart Murmur last year, or maybe the year before. I have no idea, I just really love Warpaint and I love writing about them. So anyway, I was walking (or hobbling) home from the gym this morning. It was really hot and I listened to Warpaint on the walk home; I played Lissie’s Heart Murmur a few times and noticed some things that I wanted to write down. I have no idea if any of it is going to make sense. I’m not for making sense, ever. That could be something else altogether though, but anyway..

I think it’s obvious one should play Warpaint through headphones. You pick up small details that make you fall even more in love with Warpaint; especially this song. When I listen to them I always find certain parts by each band member to fixate on, over and over. For the most part it is Emily’s delicate voice that just hypnotises me. I’m fully aware that when I see them in October I’m going to be left in a trance for days. I hope I never snap out of it.

The keys on Lissie’s Heart Murmur are so frail. The way they are played during the first few seconds of the song lures you, but at the same time you immediately imagine someone stood staring out to see with all their worries surrounding them. The keys are the worries falling out; then Emily’s voice comes in and you are soothed straight away. Are these things I have said before? More than likely. I don’t know if I could have a physical conversation with anyone about Warpaint because I’d just waffle on. Pretty much like I am here, but no one is telling me to shut up. But I’m writing this for those who are as in love with the band as I am. The ones who truly get it. Not the ones who just like one song and that’s it. The ones who have fallen asleep listening to Stars and it gave them the best sleep ever.

As the keys get lower; so does Emily’s voice. Then Jenny comes in with her stunning bass playing which merges so perfectly with Stella’s drumming. The drums sound like gentle crashes against the waves, and it is like the bass line is the life jacket to stop you getting out of your depth. In short, this song saves. Split yourself in two, and go with the part that is unsure. There’s a part in the song, I think it’s from 4.30 for 30 seconds where the song goes as wild as it can. It feels like a current in the water taking you over, then it becomes calm again towards the end and everything is alright. It is so beautiful.

Lyrically it is my favourite Warpaint song. The thing I love about their lyrics is that you have no way of being certain on what they are about. Of course you have the likes of say, Lou Reed and Morrissey for where the most part it is obvious about what they are on about. They go beyond being poets; but with Warpaint, they truly have lyrics where you can just make them into whatever you want. I know you can do that with Morrissey and Lou Reed, of course I do. Yet with Warpaint, maybe it is because of the trance they place you in with their music, you are gently carried into another world and the words are yours to take your own way. I’ve read the lyrics over and over, and you get the same feel as you do when you hear the song. It makes you feel as if you are floating on water- Warpaint are delicately pulling you along, who knows where you will end up. However, I’ve also realised that all Warpaint songs make me feel this way. They make you feel as if you are carelessly bobbing along, sometimes go under but when you go under it isn’t so bad. They’re there to get you above water again. You can call them a safety net.

I hate that I write personally, but this is the song I go to when everything seems a bit shit. I think it is mainly because Emily’s voice is so gentle on this song. I know it is delicate on songs such as Baby, but Lissie’s Heart Murmur has something else. It makes you feel like everything just might be okay; maybe not soon, but it will be. For the most part it really is, but the song is full of such reassurance and care; it is such a comforting song. When I was listening to it earlier I realised that this song, although it seems quite simple- there is so much going on. Like I mentioned above, you have to listen through headphones to really pick up on this. You pick up on the way the keys float through your ears so freely, and when the cymbal crashes it is like waves hitting the rocks. The way the bass is introduced after about 45 seconds is so beautiful. The bass resembles stones being cast into water; and the ripples that occur are like Emily’s voice. This could be the only song I ever hear for the rest of my life and I’d be completely happy with that; and I’d notice different parts to love. This song is like looking at the person you are in love with and noticing more things you love about them.

Warpaint are one of the very few bands I feel okay with taking their songs apart to talk (well, write) about certain parts in the song; certain moments that come to mean everything to the fan, the person listening to the song.  The way in which Emily sings the word “sinks” is so clear and beautiful. Small moments like this are just beautiful. And the way “I’m in two” is sung and the drums kick in. Tiny moments that make the song. I’m fairly sure that Lissie’s Heart Murmur is my most played Warpaint song, and probably one of the most played songs I own in general. There is something about it that just makes you know that this is a song you’ll play in 10 years time and you’ll be taken back to when you first heard it, and how you will feel at that point will be exactly how you felt when you first heard it. I could have just summed this up by saying this is one of the most gorgeous songs of all time, I think that’s obvious. You just bask so freely in the tranquil atmosphere that they create, over and over again.

Warpaint-Set Your Arms Down.

18 05 2012

“You’ve got to try.” 

When you love something or someone with everything you have, you notice different parts and features every single time you are faced with it. I guess it keeps the love and attraction going. There are different ways of being in love. When you’re in love with a band, it goes beyond that feeling of being in love with a person. A person that you may or may not be with. Then again, if the feeling isn’t reciprocated is it even real on your behalf? You don’t have to think about it. If I were you (and let’s be glad you are not me) I wouldn’t bother wasting your thoughts on it. Direct it all towards a different thing. Go read a book, go for a nap- shut off. When I feel like I just don’t want to be bothered, I just listen to music. I listen to one specific band. It doesn’t take a genius to know it is of course, Warpaint.

My love for Warpaint is one I will openly write about here. I don’t think anyone actually understands what it means to me when I get a comment or email about Warpaint and how I write about them. I’m told I manage to get out how I feel about the band in a way the person wishes they could. Thing is, Warpaint make me feel I can be totally honest and open. Since being a fan of theirs, it is like I have allowed myself to get rid of ugly feelings and replace them with something worthy of feeling. They give you this sense of openness that doesn’t make you ashamed of who you are. We all struggle at some point with who we are. You can be so together on the outside, but inside you’re a mess. Sometimes a band is all that can put you back together again. I probably wouldn’t be so laid back and calm if it wasn’t for Warpaint.

Warpaint teach you to let go. I mean really really let go. A piece of music that sounds like a battle cry for the soul, well- that’s sometimes all you need. That’s why I’m going to attempt to write about The Fool opener, Set Your Arms Down.

Setting your arms down can be seen as dropping your weapons. Giving up to your defenses and facing up to what you are, and who you are. Not to mention all you have done. I remember hearing this record and being in awe of every single build-up in every song. Even in songs like Baby,m there is a sense of intensity in that song that is overwhelming but quickly turns into one of the most vulnerable songs I have ever heard.

Set Your Arms Down is a perfect album opener. As they tell you to set your arms down, you feel it is an instruction for the listening process of the record. You must surrender to this band. You must give it up for Emily, Theresa, Jenny and Stella. They must have every single part of you as you listen to them. Thing is, Warpaint are not a band you just play in the background. They aren’t a band you tidy the house to or play for friends. They are a band you play if you want answers. They are a band you play when you want to find the part of you that has been missing for so long. They take you on a journey that you cannot ever imagine taking with anyone else. They become, with first listen, a part of you. They become a way of life.

I guess sometimes when I write about Warpaint it is like a catharsis. Like I am cleansing myself of something by listening to them and writing it down. A lot of the time, I just throw away how I feel or how certain things make me feel. Warpaint chase away all that fear. It begins on The Fool with Set Your Arms Down. The lyrics really really mean a lot to me. It is like they are telling you to give it all up and face everything. Keep trying, because it’ll be okay. It is basically like a swift kick up the arse. The intense vibe in this song is so powerful. The instrumental towards the end makes you feel as if everything you fear in life is coming towards you- and you are stood frozen. Without your defences, facing it all. The song ends, and it is totally up to you now how you deal with the outcome. Are you going to fight off all you fear? Or are you going to remain a coward?

My favourite lyric in this beautiful song has to be:

“Walk through the fire, walk ’till it gets light.  There is no hiding to  save your life.”

I just find it to be so important, and so true. You have to walk through hell in order to get to where you want to be. You can try to hide as much as you want, but you cannot escape all that bothers you, and at times consumes you. You just can’t That’s what I take from this song. I know I probably seem borderline mental with my love for Warpaint, but everyone has a band that give them a feeling of being able to do anything. Being able to face up to all they must. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that Warpaint give me courage. I don’t know how it is for any real Warpaint fan- but I know that there are some out there who feel this way. Warpaint don’t just sum up how you feel- they also make sense of it. Sometimes it isn’t in their lyrics, sometimes it is just the way their music flows through you.

I have played Set Your Arms Down on repeat so many times whilst going for walks. Walking to nowhere in particular. Sometimes you just need to get out and clear your heard. Warpaint do that. They cleanse you and clear your head in a way that no other band comes even remotely close to doing.

There’s a change on this song. Theresa does the drumming on this song, and she plays equally as strong as Stella. The guitars sound like water flowing through, whilst the bass-line feels like the part of you that is being held together. The song doesn’t lead you astray, it holds you together. Warpaint make you feel like you can do anything, even if you’re a shy and sensitive soul like myself; they kind of bring you out of your shell a bit. Although you cannot physically share what they have given you with anyone else, as it so sacred- you keep it in your heart, nobody can take that from you. Ever.


25 03 2012

Every decision you make in life will one day come back around to make a mockery of you. You can go one of two ways. Or you can end up heading towards both. For instance, you could have this fucked up dream of wanting to leave where you currently are so you can make something of yourself, and in time move away to the place that spiritually owns every part of you. Then it hits you. You look back at your emails or whatever. You’ve applied to close to 40 jobs in 5 days. You’re heading nowhere so very very fast. It is worse than last time, and in a week or so you will be going back home where you’ll shut yourself off and refuse to try again. It’s happening, and with this wave of failure kicking in- I’m going to carry on writing about a band that are somewhat holding me together.

It is obvious how much I love Warpaint. From the articles I’ve written to my tattoo to the amount of times I listen to them a day. I don’t listen to them because I want to, I listen to them because I HAVE to. There’s a few bands/singers I have this love for. It becomes like a ritual. Speaking of rituals….

The start of Composure starts with some kind of ritualistic chant. You can make up your own mind with regard to what they are chanting, but I will always remain adamant that it is “THE CLIT CUT.” They’ve said it is that in a few live clips, so its fine to yell this when you see them live. You can yell it during everyday life if you want, sure it may make you mental but there is no sense of normality around us because it does not exist.

I love the intro to Composure (chant aside.) The build up in this song is much like all their songs. Extremely euphoric and catapults you right off into another world. A world that is surrounded by stars, the sea and tranquility. Everything we need but for the most part, cannot seem to get our hands on. Do we keep trying? For me, this song holds a lot of meaning. Both personally and just a general love for it. At times I’ve listened to it with a sense of overwhelming urgency hitting me in the face, and I have listened to it and thought about the phrase “You are beyond” which is sung by Emily in such a hypnotising way. Her voice has this effect on you that causes you to feel like you are trapped, but it is totally fine because her voice will also be the voice that sets you free. The concept of freedom is a different matter, but I could probably relate it to a Warpaint song easily.

“How can I keep my composure?
I turn my back and you got my shoulder.
Release your mind, through your hands and your feet,
A sigh digs you out when you’re getting too deep.”

You try to keep it together. The “you” could be a person or a state of mind that always has a grip on you. A possible death-grip. Your conscience will fuck with you, but that’s just how it is. You let all these words and feelings out. It becomes overwhelming, then you realise you’ve probably said too much. So what can you do? Well, all you can do is just sigh. You let everything come out, an intense release that is only greeted by a sigh. Is this what it has all become now? You cannot explain a thing, just a sigh sums it up. Sometimes though, that is all you have. I an relate. Thanks Warpaint! Although I love this verse a hell of a lot, there’s just one sentence in the song that from first listen to The Fool hit me like no other. It just meant a lot from the first listen. Its been nearly two years and I am still in awe when I hear:

“A sordid spot, a monster takeover.
Living in shame’s gonna haunt your sleep.”

You’re in a sordid place and something horrific takes over you. This could be your own personal Hell or you could be brave, fighting off those demons that seem to creep up on you. Then you realise, being ashamed of all of this is haunting you. You’re not functioning. You’re not living. You’re not sleeping. You’re no longer you. There’s no shame in being weak. But you feel so ashamed, it stirs you. What are you going to do about it? What can you do about it?

The thing is, Warpaint tap into that part of you that you thought nobody could ever really get into. You always knew it was there. This mystical, euphoric feelings. But you were never quite sure on how you’d reach that state of being. Being fully aware of your surroundings but at the same time- in a dreaming state. It is easy to function like this. But there’s a difference, as you know, between functioning and living. For the most part, we aren’t living.

I try to take something from when I listen to Warpaint. Whether it is a way of trying to make sense or just trying to let that nagging feeling/thought go. This is why Warpaint go beyond being a band. Songs like Composure just make so much sense. Trying to keep yourself together when you know that there is something/someone with their hand on you waiting for you to turn back around. When you face whatever it is, will you go towards it or will you keep walking away from it?

Don’t live in shame, and allow that sigh to be the most liberating thing you do. Then listen to Warpaint. Listen to them, and maybe..just maybe something will click. Something may just make a little bit of sense.

Th dreamy guitars, the swaying bass, the tense drumming and the calming vocals really come alive in Composure. It is there in every Warpaint song, but you knew that already.

Lost? Find yourself in Warpaint.



14 02 2012

“Oh wonderful one, why are you like that?”

It isn’t just The Kills that are celebrating an anniversary today- Warpaint are now 8 years into their career. Yep, it goes way back before 2010’s The Fool and 2009’s Exquisite Corpse.

The band formed on Valentine’s Day 2004. The band have gone through some changes over the past 8 years. Jenny’s sister  Shannyn Sossamon and current Red Hot Chili Pepper’s guitarist Josh Klinghoffer were part of the band during the start. As well as David Orlando and Michael Quinn. However, it is with Stella Mozgawa, that they found a soild with. When you watch Warpaint play, or just even on record- you can really feel such positive energy coming from them- much like The Kills.

It is fairly obvious how much I love Warpaint. I think my Warpaint tattoo has cemented my love for them, but like The Kills- my love goes beyond the music. It is the way their bond can make you feel so positive about..anything and everything. Even when it all seems a bit well, shit I suppose. Music can make you feel so much, and Warpaint’s music does that. Some songs feel like a powerful confrontation, others feel like a personal confession. I can quite happily just sit in my room, in the dark listening to their music and just allowing the sounds take me to a different universe. That’s what is so beautiful about music. When you find a singer or band that you connect with on an almost spiritual level, you allow yourself to feel so weightless and just drift off into a whole different place. A place where you can feel free without the shackles of every day life.

I remember first hearing Warpaint for the first time in 2009. I was researching some Billie Holiday songs for my dissertation, and I was using Strange Fruit as part of one of my articles. As I was watching a performance of Strange Fruit, I noticed in the corner “Warpaint-Billie Holiday.” I clicked on it. I was immediately hooked. Much like The Kills, I knew with first listen that I had found something sacred. For some reason, Warpaint aren’t a band I want to listen to with other people. It’s a thing I always feel comfortable doing alone. I guess it’s because I know of no one that connects to it like I do. I don’t mean it in a superior way at all. Most that I know that have claimed to listen only dig one song, or just fancy Jenny. Come on now. If you’re going to claim to be a fan- listen to EVERYTHING. I listen to Warpaint and I lose all my senses. I feel like I’m having some outer obdy experience. I’d feel like a massive idiot if I listened to them with someone and announced that to them. They’d probably punch me, and tell me to snap out of it. Honestly, if you listen to Shadows or Lissie’s Heart Murmur and do not feel like something has taken over you- you’re not listening to it properly.

The music is so ethereal and pure. Jenny’s bass playing is enough to make you wish you could play bass like that. Fuck it, the way they all play makes you wish you had musical talent (obviously if you already play an instrument this isn’t the case.) It’s the kind of music that makes you want to explore everything. The kind of music that just makes you want to become a better person, and discover things about yourself that you may have worked hard at pushing away.

I’ll never ever forget the day I interviewed Theresa. I haven’t done much that I am proud of, but I honestly believe that day to be the best day of my life, and one I am so fucking proud of. They say you should never meet people that you class as your heroes. I stick two fingers up to that declaration! I loved the interview because it didn’t feel like I was sat with “someone from a band.” It was like talking to someone you’ve known for years about something you both love- Music. The love they have for each other, and what they do is so beautiful. If you’ve ever seen any videos of them being interviewed, you will see that they are the most hilarious and warm people. They don’t take themselves seriously, and just love what they do. Like The Kills, they haven’t compromised who or what they are in order to get where they are now- they stayed honest to their art, and have made music that fast became timeless.

The euphoric feeling their music gives you is something every music lover searches for and craves in a band. That feeling of safety with hints of “where is this taking me?” It keeps you hooked for a lifetime. I honestly couldn’t imagine my record collection and life without their music. There was a huge void, but the wait for a band like Warpaint was truly worth it.

With only an EP and a full length album, they have fanbase that is just so loyal and passionate towards the band- and towards each other. It’s like the unity they have with each other is shared between the Warpaint fans (not the ones who buy the band shirt from Urban Outfitters and have NEVER fucking listened to the band.)

When I listen to their music, I always feel like I am in some kind of dreamy state. That I’m floating through life, and everything is just passing me by. Even with songs like Majesty- I still get that feeling. A feeling that, as much as I love certain bands- only Warpaint can give me. Each band that I hold so very dear to me does this. Each play a part, and give off certain feelings. Some feelings that, I just cannot explain. It’s almost as if words are not good enough to even try. However, if you listen to the music, you’ll probably understand what I mean.

Although I’ve met them, I’m still waiting to see them live. I just know it again, will be worth the wait and it will be some kind of life changing experience. There’s so much more I could say about Jenny, Emily, Stella and Theresa- but what good would it do? It’s obvious how much their music means to me.

Warpaint are one of the few bands that keep me going with regard to writing. There are so many times where I just think, “Fuck this fucking shit. No one reads this. I’m wasting my time. I’m really shit.” I think that at least once a week, maybe more. But, it’s this mind-set that keeps me going. If I thought I was any good, I wouldn’t bother. Warpaint inspire me to always write with heart, honesty and passion- the day I stop writing like that is the day I just give up forever. They make me feel like it is okay for me to put everything I have into something, even if it may seem so small. It will pay off eventually. I guess, they just give me hope. I also think they are a bit responsible for my huge urge to live in L.A.

Theresa, Emily, Jenny, Stella- thank you. Thank you for the music and for creating a sound that my ears were so in need of hearing. Big love. Olivia xxxx


28 01 2012

If I could have any instrumental version of any song by Warpaint- it would be this one. At first I thought…IT’S THE DRUMS! IT’S THE FUCKING DRUMS! Then I listened again…IT’S THE GUITARS!!! And I then listened again…IT’S THE DAMN BASS! JESUS IT IS THE BASS. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is everything. This is the song that makes me wish I could sing. Most of their songs make me wish I could play an instrument, but Bees for some reason makes me wish I could sing. I can’t sing. I probably sound like a cat being stood on and violated. However when I have a cold- I think I can sing. It’s best if I don’t even try anymore.

The bass in Bees just makes you want to bounce like a ball around a room, going crazy. The drums make you nod your head in time. The guitars make your limbs move about so freely. Basically, when you listen to this you’ll probably do a bunch of crazy shit and look mental. It’s okay- I’ll join you. It’s all okay.

I adore the way Theresa sings, “Your full moon taunts me.” You know when you hear a line in a song, and it just sticks with you? You have no idea why it sticks with you at all, but you love it. If I could ever fully explain why I loved their music, I’d feel useless. More useless than normal. The fact that every single time I listen to them, and it blows my mind- makes me fall more in love with the music. It’s just got something else. Something I’ve never heard before, and will never hear again.

For me, this song makes me think about being involved with someone who is of a self destructive nature. If you’ve ever had to deal with this, you’ll be able to relate to this song- no problem. It doesn’t even have to be in a romantic nature. We all know someone who is self destructive and Hell bent on ruining themselves, and possibly draining everyone in the process. It’s an uncomfortable thing to go through and face, because you think to yourself, “Do I leave this person behind? Do I help them? What do I do?” If you listen to this song, you should hopefully be comforted by it because maybe, just maybe you’ll find the answers you need. Music does that to you. It can solve anything without you even being aware of it.

“You’ve been at yourself.
You woke me up last night.
And my eyes lit up like lights,
Like a string of pearls,
But you still did what you wanted.”

One of the most evocative lines I’ve heard. Not just by Warpaint, but in general. This person is destroying themselves- they know they are, and they are aware that you know. It stirrs you and you wake up- fully alert. But this person just carries on and does what they want. With no regard to or for anything.

“All that time it took you to get yourself straight, was too late.” This person finally starts to get their shit together, but it’s too late. Maybe they are beyond repair or maybe you’ve up and left them. Whatever it is, it’s too late. Sometimes, when something drags out for so long it becomes far too late to do anything about it. You’ve just got to let it go. It’s one of the songs that really interests me because the music is upbeat but the subject matter is potentially, quite dark. I love music that tricks you with upbeat music and chilling lyrics. We’ve all got a dark/curious side, some of us need to embrace it more often.

Warpaint manage to lure you in with no effort at all. You are immediately drawn in because they have this amazing quality. The fact that it is beyond words makes it so much more appealing. It’s like, when you are told “DON’T TOUCH THAT” but you do it anyway because you want to see what happens. What happens when you listen to Warpaint is that, everything just changes. The way you see yourself and others is just changed. Maybe I’m just going overboard with this, but I do believe that their music has changed how I view certain things in life, and people too. Obviously I’m not some unaccepting, axe wielding, homophobic racist arsehole. I don’t mean that. What they’ve done is essentially appreciate the silence in life, the more calming aspects. I’m not someone who likes being surrounded by large groups of people-mainly because I have nothing of worth to say and I hate small talk. I also hate loudness. I love silence. So much can be said in silence. Warpaint’s music made me, I guess, stay true to myself and not change in order to keep people around. I don’t know. I really don’t. What I’m trying to say is not coming out in the way I want it to. Bees for me, is about letting go off all the bad vibes and people around you. This song, for me, makes it easy to let shit go. I’ve seen what clinging onto the past does to people- I see it, and I vow to never be like that. Bees gave me this realisation. Maybe I’ve gone way too deep and should just accept that this is just a brilliant song? Each to their own.

Theresa sings most of this song, but Emily comes in near the end with this:

“Did I reset what I started?
Did I resist what I wanted?
Do I think you’ve got my number?
I’m not the one to continue on.”

Has this person called them out on their draining ways? Are they to blame? Are you to blame? Have you decided to not be the one who carries on surrounded by all of this? It’s just a brilliant breakdown that, even if you’re not going through anything I’ve described (I’m not going through that, I just have a horrific ability to put shit like that into words) it makes you feel like you are- it’s like what Emily is singing is the solution to being near someone self destructive. Sometimes, you’ve just got to walk away from it. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

You know, most people are terrified of bees- for the obvious reasons. But if you watch them (I love watching nature documentaries a hell of a lot) you see how loyal and majestic they are. The sound they make is quite peaceful in a way. The intro to this, and throughout- musically, sounds like a swarm of bees. It’s a lucid trip that once you come back from, you will never be the same again.


28 01 2012

Writing about Warpaint makes me happy. It makes me appreciate the band more than I really do. I listen to each song intensely and with great care. I firmly believe that Warpaint are one of those special bands that you have to listen to with headphones to feel every element of the music. You can feel the vibrations of Jenny’s bass going through your ears in a music-gasm based way. Stella’s drumming shakes your eardrums. Emily’s voice sways you. Theresa’s guitar magic makes you feel like nothing can touch you. All of these factors, and more just make it feel like Warpaint are taking you on some mystical and ethereal tour of exploring the soul.

I’ve taken my rings off and put my glasses on to write this. If I put my glasses on, you know I’m about to concentrate and put my all into writing. I do expect to go off on one with this song. Mainly because I love it so much.

The intro to Warpaint sounds like a monster slowly emerging from under the depths of a raging sea. As it comes further up, the sea becomes more and more calm. Calmed by the delicate drumming and tranquil vocals. I have sat with this song laying through headphones so many times; it just does something. The way Emily and Theresa’s vocals both transport from ear to ear as you listen is so powerful. Neither voice is more dominating than the other. Both voices flow so perfectly together, just like water.

If I was going to compare this song to anything in the world, it would be a desert island. It feels so spacious, relaxed and so far removed from anything else I have ever heard. It feels like a different world; a different level of music making altogether. Maybe it is THE signature Warpaint track? I’m not sure. It depends on who you ask. Some may say this, some may say Billie Holiday or Undertow or Elephants. Maybe no one song defines them; each song is so different from the other but still manages to give you the same euphoric feeling.

I’ve said a few times that their music has made me feel like I am floating on a bed of water. Now, as someone who cannot swim- it’s a strange feeling to look for and to enjoy whilst listening to music. Yet it is one of the best feelings a piece of music or a band can give you. If they can make you feel as if you are sailing off into something so pure and sacred- you know you have found a band worth clinging onto with everything you have.

The lyrics on this song are so perfect. You can take whatever meaning you want from this. I find this song to be more difficult than the others to grasp the meaning of, and at times I don’t know if I can even make my own up. I love this song because you just feel as if you are no longer in your own body. You’re having the greatest outer-body experience you can imagine. You do not want it to ever end, so you just have to keep hitting repeat. Over and over again. Over and over again. Until you feel so weightless and untouchable.

I love the way Emily sings: “Even when I was whispering. You hold on, the water was slippery. You listen, the weather was answering. I let go, I wanna get into it.” over Theresa singing : “In like a dull knife. Pulls out all the stops. I fall out like, time running out.” I just find this to be one of the most incredible and captivating parts of this track. The way their voices run through your ears as you taken in the beauty of the vocals and the wonderful imagery in the words, it’s just so utterly hypnotising. A smile always appears upon my face when I listen to this because it just causes you to see so much in your mind. You create so much from one small detail. It is just out of this world.

The last minute of the song. That breakdown. You know the part I mean. Hopefully it does the same to you as it does to me. The last minute makes me feel like my whole body is going into some kind of euphoric state as the drums kick in and they sing, “I’m over here by your way, tight as a knot I want to fade.” I just love that line SO much. I think it is so powerful.For me, it makes me think of being stood very close to someone you find to be the bee’s knees, but they don’t know you’re there. As they don’t know you’re there, you just want to fade out. I’m not sure if that’s what they were getting at. They probably weren’t but hey.

You know what other part of the song I dig? This part :

“You’re tied in a knot, can’t throw you back here.
You’ve got the floor, they say. You gotta lock it up.
Late into the night you wore off that fever.
That fever.

For the life of me, I just cannot explain to you why I love it so SO much. It’s just so much. You can apply this verse to anything or anyone. But be careful, you don’t want to waste such beauty on idiots.

When I first heard this song, I was in awe of everything. Every single part of this song- even the tiny details, they just became so timeless and instantly classic. It was if i had been waiting for so long for something to make me feel like this. I know I always say it- but Warpaint, I believe are the band I have been waiting to hear all my life. Of course The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Cure and Morrissey will ALWAYS be my favourites. But, when I heard Warpaint for the very first time, I just felt like I did when I heard those three. I felt like the missing part had been filled. I’ve honestly never felt like this over a band before. No band has ever managed to have everything I want. It’s like finding that pair of jeans or boots that just make you feel good, and you no longer have to search for them anymore because you’ve finally got them.

You cannot deny just how perfect the video fits the song. Sometimes a video can strip away all meaning of a song, but with the video to Warpaint all that feeling of being surrounded by water truly comes to life in the video. It’s just so perfect and just so right, you know? The only downside to the video is that the song is edited, and it isn’t the full 6 minutes. But like I said, it fits so well and just feels so right.

With all of this said and nearly the whole song lovingly picked apart, I reckon the lyrics I can most relate to and feel the most connection with has to be:

“Cold and under, I almost forgot to,
Face up to what I ought to.
Willing and I do give offering to you.
Willing and I do give offering to you.
Don’t know why I feel so different.
Feel just like a different person.
Willing and I do give offering to you.”

It’s sang in a strangely haunting yet comforting manner. You know those times where you don’t feel like yourself, that something else has taken over? This part, this song- just sums it up so perfectly.