Emily Kokal (vocals, guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocals, guitar), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass, backing vocals), and Stella Mozgawa are Warpaint, the first – but, I assure you, not the last – all female group to be added to Women-Who-Rocktober. Warpaint are one of those groups where I have absolutely no idea how I first heard about them, and I gave up a long time ago trying to remember, happily accepting that at some point serendipity smiled upon me and my ears were treated to their stylings.
Despite not recalling how I stumbled across Warpaint’s music, I do recall the performance that drew me into the orbit of the Los Angeles based group: The Rough Trade Sessions EP, a 5 track recorded live for Rough Trade. There is something captivating about this performance, no notes are misplaced, the vocal harmonies are sweet and delicate, and every member is given enough space so that the songs breathe. I must also admit that, after watching the footage from this session over, and over, I developed quite a crush on the rhythm section of Lindberg and Mozgawa – not in a physical way, mind you, but the two of them deliver such a strong groove, and both clearly enjoy playing, that I simply became enchanted.
As the band’s guitarists and vocalists, it is natural for Kokal and Wayman to be seen as the face and driving force of the group, and to be sure Warpaint would be a different band if their dream-pop vocal style and interlacing guitar lines were absent. But, for me, Warpaint truly come into their own with the groove and rhythm, which is clearly impelled by Lindberg and Mozgawa. Under the name jennylee, Lindberg last year released a solo album, right on!, while Mozgawa has made contributions to recordings from artists as diverse as Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Jones, Kurt Vile, and Cate Le Bon, to name only a few.
Individually Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg, and Stella Mozgawa would make music that is worth listening to, and each could justifiably be listed as Women-Who-Rocktober, but together they truly shine as Warpaint.