Warpaint – Keep It Healthy

As a music-lover who’s ‘bias’ in female musicians (in a good sense) and listen to female vocals in a ratio of 9 to 1 as compared to male’s, I would say Warpaint is the one and only ‘girl-band’ that I listen to.  The band consists of the calmness of Emily Kokal, the wildness of bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg, sexiness of Teresa Wayman, and sassiness of drummer Stella Mozgawa. Well, that just sounds like everything a girl would look for in a girl-band? I would just say that, Warpaint is definitely more than what most of American indie bands can offer.

In their recently released self-titled second album, the intro has included a faulty note with someone screaming ‘sorry!’, which set the tone of the album as a free-flow soundscape like in creation of a jamming session. All that teaser of Love Is To Die on CK’s ad and having Chris Cunningham to do their cover art had gotten me a bit wondering at first, worried that the band’s unique artistic element would become “hip”. After listening to the album, I was rest assured.

Personal favourite track of the album Keep It Healthy, has kept a bit of the quirkiness of Beetles from their dubut EP Exquisite Corpse, which was mixed by my favourite guitarist of all-time, John Frusicante (ex-member from my all-time fav band RHCP). I have to admit, the fact that John was mastering the EP in 2008 while dated guitarist Emily Kokal at the time then, got my attention to this 4-piece band in the beginning. And now that Chris Cunningham is married to Jenny Lee is like a second kick, but the band has never failed me with their music.

The album has been criticized as insignificant and leaving no traits to follow, but I mean, Monet never painted any explicit shadow either – the juxtaposition of strokes and colors has made a difference. Warpaint’s album is disembodied yet alluring, hypnotic yet subtle. Melodic bassline and muscular drumming continues to affect me the most, increasing synth creates a magical mix of texture and space between Emily and Teresa’s vocals.

We can’t always be sure of everything, but daring to experience is courageous.

“When life is difficult and oblique, it’s when you’re not surrendering to love” says Emily Kokal.


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