Warpaint departs from previous aesthetic, creates fresh sound


Warpaint members pose for a photograph

Nina Belzer, Contributing Reporter

Warpaint, an all-female independent band based out of Los Angeles, has a sound hard to pinpoint.

“I guess I would tell them they just have to have a listen for themselves,” lead singer Emily Kokal said. “I don’t even know how to explain it.”

The band, formed in 2004, includes members Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa. Kokal said she enjoys working with only other women. 

“It’s really important to be able to collaborate with other women,” Kokal said. “Women have a different way of expressing themselves than men, and the world needs that too, especially when women create together. It’s definitely a new flavor.”

While the group’s style is often lumped into the indie genre, the group works from a different perspective than most other bands in the category.

“[Our music] is a relationship between the four of us,” Kokal said. “It’s us personally, and musically, and us individually all coming together that creates a sound outside of ourselves that wouldn’t be anything like if we’d played individually.”

The group wrote all the songs on the “Warpaint” album during its stay in the Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California.

Kokal emphasized the influence the area had on the album.

“Joshua Tree is incredible, it looks like you’re on another planet,” Kokal said. “Playing music and writing music in that environment makes you want to fill that place.”

The new album represents a bit of a departure from the band’s previous album, “The Fool.” 

“There’s a [reflection] in the album and a nice meditative quality,” Kokal said. “This album it was a lot more free form. [‘The Fool’] was very technically interwoven.”

The main source of variation between the two albums lies in the band’s recording processes.

“We had worked the songs [for ‘The Fool’] for so long, and the parts for so long, that they were really thick, dense songs,” Kokal said. “With this album, it was way different because we came home [from our last tour], and we instantly started writing, and we kind of starting crafting the album, and it was all really fresh and new.”

The group is currently on tour and will perform 9 p.m. Tuesday at The Republic.