Warpaint: Radiate Like This (Heirlooms/Virgin) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, December 9th, 2023  


Radiate Like This


May 11, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The problem with reviewing a Warpaint album, hot off the press so to speak, is that their music often takes time before all the elements settle into place. Even after numerous listens every time you revisit Warpaint’s albums you’ll invariably find something new, interesting, and innovative that had previously eluded you.

They are also a band who, when you see them live, feed off each other’s musicality, improvising, often playing in the moment. Indeed there are few bands around who seem to be so attuned to the same sonic frequencies as a unit the way that Emily Kokal, Jenny Lee Lindberg, Stella Mozgawa, and Theresa Wayman are. Despite being physically separated by the pandemic, with each member recording their parts separately, the band’s musical alchemy remains very much intact on their new album, Radiate Like This, as it is full of Warpaint’s trademark delicate and nuanced interplay.

Opening with the cinematic, languid beauty of “Champion,” it soon becomes apparent that Radiate Like This adheres to the classic Warpaint sound rather than the alt-pop wig out of “New Song.” But there are still moments you can dance to, or at the very least sway to, such as during the hazy skittish dance grooves of second track, “Hips.” The wistful evocative blissed-out beauty of the album’s third track, “Hard to Tell You”—replete with a hint of the Tears for Fears classic “Mad World”—is certainly up there with their very best work.

As one might reasonably expect, it’s an album driven by laid back nebulous grooves and gorgeous vocal harmonies. There are moments when Warpaint teeters on the edge of “yacht rock” territory, but they pull back and shift things in a different and far more interesting direction. There’s maturity and playfulness to Radiate Like This, a sense of growth amongst the wistful retrospection and a feeling of contentment, an atmosphere of being comfortable with your place in the world.

After 17 years together as a band, it’s a testament to Warpaint’s belief in their own abilities that they have stuck to their musical guns and carved their own musical niche without ever following trends. It’s an album that radiates warmth and is lighter in tone than their previous outings but it is in many ways a typical Warpaint album, one that can mesmerize, seduce, and confound in equal measure. As with previous albums, Radiate Like This does make demands on the listener to do just that, actually listen, and requires some patience before it fully reveals itself. As experience tells us, it’s certainly worth putting in the effort to fully appreciate what a unique and special band Warpaint are. (www.warpaintwarpaint.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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