Sound the alarms because Warpaint is ending its six-year hiatus with a new album. And the very first taste of Radiate Like This comes in the form of “Champion,” a driving slow-burner charged with the Los Angeles band’s love of enchanting rock rhythms. Amidst a flurry of sonorous drums and the quartet’s shared, haunting vocalizations the new song is a vigorous reminder of exactly what makes Warpaint’s soundscapes so alluring.
Out of a few patters “Champion” crescendos into something ecstatically puissant. “I’m a million years old, I’m a champion now,” the words echo through the song as an emphatic reminder of the dynamism we all hold within us. But the song also tempers that “Champion” ethos with an understanding that it’s just as much about uplifting others as it is ourselves. The song also comes with a visualizer that superbly captures the song’s anthemic revival in a recorded sunrise over ocean waters.
“Being a champion to oneself and for others,” Warpaint said of the meaning behind the song. “We are all in this together, life is too short not to strive for excellence in all that we do.”
And that’s something the band themselves have seen through, especially in the years since the release of their last album Heads Up. Emily Kokal (guitar, vocals), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass, vocals), Stella Mozgawa (drums, vocals) and Theresa Wayman (guitar, vocals) have all at one point or another found themselves being pulled in various directions. Living life, solo endeavors, cross country moves, and a myriad of other responsibilities eventually led the members of Warpaint to ask themselves whether they should coalesce once more on an album.
But just when they’d started to find their way back to making music together the pandemic hit — leaving them to record separated, in makeshift home studios, sending music back and forth over the last two years. The result is their seventh album Radiate Like This and if “Champion” is anything to go by, it’s going to be another stellar album by the band.