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The Fool

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iTunes Review

Warpaint — contrary to what the name conjures — is a four-piece all- female band based in L.A., and The Fool is their debut full-length, following a 2009 EP titled Exquisite Corpse. Staying the course with their goth-tinged psychedelic folk, The Fool is a beautiful tapestry of dusky, hazy tunes that deliver on mood rather than real hooks. Opening track “Set Your Arms Down” may be an anti-war screed, or a narcoticized plea to a feuding lover, but either way it envelops the listener like smoke, difficult to nail down when the track ends. Full of solemn, effects-heavy bass lines, wispy, reverb-wrapped vocals and languid, sleepy rhythms, The Fool captures the mood of several genres in one swoop, including genteel singer-songwriter ambience (“Baby,” “Shadows”), which shows a fearless skill for cross-pollinating. Lovely.

Customer Reviews

Just Noticed

There are 9 songs on this album for 99cents each, but they are charging $9.99 for the album. You can save a bit by downloading the songs one at a time. . . unless you're a bonus booklet sort of person.

A step forward for music.

Having watched Warpaint grow and evolve over the last two years, I am heartened to find everything that makes them special faithfully represented on their first full length.

It seems like most bands these days lack the imagination and soul to do anything but imitate other bands or to chase a certain sound, and in the process they lose whatever makes them unique and special. You can usually break these bands down into parts (i.e. one part Joy Division, one part Beach Boys, two parts Mary Chain). Only the best bands sound like themselves, and Warpaint sound like Warpaint. It takes such uncommon talent to be able to find your own voice and then do the work of excavating that voice. It has been hilarious watching the press try to pin labels on Warpaint, calling them shoegaze or psych-rock or what have you (another sign of a stagnant music industry). The amazing thing is that you can hear these and so many other influences in every Warpaint song -- Nirvana, The Cure, King Krimson, Yes, Bauhaus, madrigals and jazz and reggae... It is impossible to hear where one influence ends and the other begins, as if the band has absorbed them so deeply they have become part of their own voice. This ability is what made Radiohead and The Beatles great, and Warpaint has it too.

There is something centered and mature about Warpaint that has allowed them to be comfortable being themselves instead of trying to sound cool or reverting to the self-indulgence of adolescent self-pity and rebellion. (I mean HOW old is Billy Corgan?) Even when a band succeeds in creating something listenable they are usually too immersed in modishness to be expressive of anything authentic. When it comes down to it, Best Coast and Cold Cave are Fixing Your Hair Music. It pretty much stops at being sexy and cool. Warpaint invite you to go beneath the surface and dwell in your own heart for a little while. That's where their lyrics take place... rather than describing something specific or telling a story, they are like words or feelings that emerge in meditation. There is an emotional truth and, for lack of a better word, goodness in this music that is unlike anything else you are likely to hear this year. It's rock music and it's art... listening to this album you realize that's the way it should be and you wonder why it hasn't been that way all along. (Again, Radiohead and The Beatles come to mind.)

On The Fool, Warpaint keep to the jam-based, free flowing structure of the Exquisite Corpse EP while showing a different side of the band. (Or, I should say, different sides.) Since some of these songs pre-date the EP, it's not so much a progression as an expansion of what Warpaint are. Set Your Arms Down is (I think) the first song they ever wrote, and Composure, Majesty, Baby and Lissie's have been around for years in various incarnations. Undertow and Bees are newer and probably their best work to date.

People who can't see past what the band looks like or where they come from just aren't listening. This is what we've been waiting for.


I try to selective about what music interests me, and was rather annoyed that I fancied the bass player the first time I saw her. Why must my opinion be biased by my eyes? Fortunately, my ears had been trained for years while playing instruments, and I was reassured that yes, the music I was being inundated so sweetly with had to be quality. So I bought the album. The diversity of their sounds resemble chaos, and their whimsical voices further this thought. Just what is it makes this different from other psychedelic and alternative rock bands? It comes down to atmosphere. The dark sound people hear makes it beautiful, the pairing of jarring melodies with cutting guitar pickings slip into a coherent tune, the whispery voices move from emotional sincerity to haunting murmuring, occasional playfulness surfaces, and all this comes together with a driving beat to make for a remarkable head-trip, just what I asked for. Such a performance justifies their name as both the substance used to symbolize one's willingness to endanger themselves and the paint used to color war.


Formed: 2004 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A Los Angeles quartet dealing in sparse, atmospheric art rock, Warpaint originally consisted of sisters Jenny Lee Lindberg and Shannyn Sossamon (on bass and drums, respectively), as well as Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman on vocal and guitar. Sossamon left due to conflicts with her acting schedule and was replaced by Stella Mozgawa. With a dedicated lineup, the band began to experiment with murky spaciousness and stripped-down arrangements, and gained the attention of former Red Hot Chili Peppers...
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The Fool, Warpaint
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