Lilys – Warpaint

Those hypnotic groovers Warpaint have returned in more ways than one. They’re back with a new single Lilys and they’re back on their deep ambient jag. It’s their patented Low rock grooves that hang around the bottom end of your speakers and your consciousness adding a warm bath feeling to your ears that has the return of this band so very welcome right now. This track has more in common with the Undertow of their debut album (2010’s) The Fool than the groove bent Warpaint (Self titled second album 2014) with tracks like Love Is To Die and Disco//Very. In 2016 with third album Heads Up they went closer to the Haim, St Vincent world of Indie pop than ever before (case in point New Song) but kept their cool groove thang entirely intact.

They appear as if an oasis of mindful pause among the clashing drums and thrashing noise I listen to most days. That said I always find time to soothe the savage beast with this band when they put out another rhythm section driven session. I’ve seen them live a couple of times now and whether playing to a theater with their full show or a club based stripped down acoustic version of their back catalog they cook up a heady groove that can wash away a rooms niggles and untangle their head wires so they’re all swaying in unison to tracks just like Lilys. It’s a quality addition to a unique songbook.

Creeping up on your ears with the softest of drum patterns, the honeyed melody and lyrics of making sense, harmonizing yourself and finding understanding are a balm. As the song asks “Why do we have to fight? Wouldn’t you rather be happy?” This proposition does seem to come with a warning though. “We’re so dangerous and complicated” there’s an undercurrent here. Is this song about making up? Is it about gaslighting? “We’re so dangerous I can’t sleep” There is a cautionary tale delivered with these Lilys. When you see the track is connected to the new HBO series Made For Love that might carry more weight too. Made For Love is based on a book by Alissa Nutting about a woman on the run from her husband who is tracking her via an implant in her brain. Is it wrong is still want to bask in the warm waters of Warpaint’s music knowing this is the theme for a dystopia where your own thoughts can betray your freedom?

Their grooves echo those of a certain period of The Cure at times. Comparisons to bands like Explosions In The Sky, Blonde Redhead and Mogwai have at times lumped them in as noodle soupers more than delicate melody constructionists. There are elements of all those bands in the Warpaint sound. They do it with a warmth and (dare I call it?), a restraint that always keeps them on the right side of the incense burner crowd in my eyes though. This slow pop revolution which takes in folk melody (Smoke Fairies) and 80’s college rock (Sonic Youth) and comes out sounding entirely identifiable as Warpaint is a delicate balancing act. And they’re walking that wire with complete confidence.

An important band in the development of this generation of indie pop. Your Tay Tay’s, Lana’s and Billie’s have been listening, I’m sure of it.

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