Rough Trade

A lot has changed in the world of Warpaint since they released 2010’s The Fool . At least that’s the feeling you get from their self-titled sophomore followup. While that debut LP definitely had its moments those hardly compare to the ambitious game changer that is album number 2.

From the get-go it becomes clear that this is a more refined and sophisticated Warpaint who manage to weave decades of classic 4AD tropes shoegazing atmospherics and goth-pop mopiness into a sound that’s distinctly modern. Taking on a gauzy tripped-out aesthetic repeated standouts like lead single “Love Is to Die” “Drive” and “Biggy” employ Emily Kokal Theresa Wayman and Jenny Lee Lindberg’s panache for powerful yet tender vocals intricate guitar lines groovy as hell bass lines and clicking future-leaning percussion all electronically manipulated tweaked and twisted.

But as great as some of the songwriting and arrangements can be Warpaint is a studio nerd’s wet dream with the tastefully restrained though beautifully lush production often taking centre stage courtesy of sound legends Flood (Depeche Mode Nine Inch Nails PJ Harvey) and Nigel Godrich (Radiohead Beck).

Not only have Warpaint dodged the sophomore slump they’ve set the bar mighty high for 2014.