Release Date: Dec 11, 2015
Record label: Rough Trade
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Jenny Lee Lindberg, bassist of Warpaint, has gone it alone as jennylee on her debut solo record, right on! It's a warm and personal record (one that eschews capital letters throughout), but it's not without the haunted and angst-ridden sounds characteristic of her main gig. Lindberg shines on the record's highly rhythmic tracks, such as the driving "boom boom," complete with drumming from Warpaint's Stella Mozgawa. Lindberg's bass lines take inspiration from new wave, juxtaposing her dark vocals and the song's lyrics: "Society is anxiety, is a misery, it's a myth.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. For most bands, crafting an album is a full team effort. Certain members may get more recognition in the press, but the press isn't always there for the behind-the-scenes. While one member's name may be attributed to the lyrics, it can be assumed that the others had a say during the editing process.
When members of distinctive-sounding bands step out on their own, they risk sounding too much like their main projects, or trying too hard to sound different. Fortunately, Warpaint's Jenny Lee Lindberg -- billed here as jennylee -- strikes a good balance between familiar and unique on Right On!, a set of songs that puts the spotlight on various aspects of her music in an intimate setting. Working with co-producer Norm Block, her Warpaint bandmate Stella Mozgawa, and Dan Elkan (who has also collaborated with Broken Bells and Them Hills), Lindberg imbues the album with a late-night spareness full of spaces and silences that allow dreams and memories to bloom.
On her first solo record, Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint takes the hazier, groove-ridden constituent of her band's sound and drives it further into the night time, taking her earlier post-punk influences as a reference point. "Never" dares to place a heady, psychedelic soundscape atop its machine-like drumming reminiscent of New Order's Stephen Morris, whereas the uneasiness of "riot" draws from The Cure's more sinister cuts. The early Warpaint sound that so many miss stretches across the record, maturing perhaps more organically than the band's transition into a festival-topping act allowed.
Whenever an artist steps out from their main band to make a record as a solo or side project, comparisons to their primary project inevitably arise. With recent examples including Will Butler, Angel Deradoorian, and Martin Courtney, the focus is on the ability to differentiate themselves from the band they’re typically associated with. For Jenny Lee Lindberg, bassist of Warpaint, her first solo record, right on!, proves to be an expansion of the sounds of her main band while also serving as a clear demarcation of her own voice shining through.
Venturing into solo terrain for the first time, the debut album from Warpaint bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg evokes much of the languid dreaminess present in that band’s previous offerings. Heavily laced with that same midnight sorcery, right on! may not be much of a departure for Lindberg, but on tracks such as Never and White Devil she introduces a deconstructed rawness along with goth and new wave influences. Fans of Warpaint will relish Lindberg’s discordant bass rumbling throughout – along with the contribution of their drummer Stella Mozgawa – as layers of her own wistful darkness emerge.
Warpaint’s bass-wielding stronghold, Jenny Lee Lindberg, originally booked herself ten days in the studio. Intending to hit record on a whole bunch of demoes, which she’d release with little fanfare, the project quickly spiralled outwards into something more weighty. ‘right on!’ appeared out of the ether; a viscous, meandering, solo debut with the rough consistency of raspberry jam.
In the span of two albums, Los Angeles quartet Warpaint have examined myriad British musical movements from the ‘90s. Having co-opted dream pop, shoegaze and trip-hop elements for 2014’s self-titled sophomore release, the band’s bassist, Jenny Lee Lindberg, seeks out additional English musical avenues yet untouched by Warpaint, stepping back a decade or two further on her solo debut, right on!. As jennylee, Lindberg puts rhythm first.
Jenny Lee Lindberg has spent the last 11 years playing bass in LA indie group Warpaint. For her debut solo release, she drops her surname, commandeers a bandmate (drummer Stella Mozgawa), and clings tightly to her parent band’s brand of hazy and understated post-punk. Right On! is underpinned by subtle grooves and thoughtful dissonance: lead single Never pairs a Transmission-esque bassline with wayward drums, while Blind presents droning, dismantled blues and Offerings sounds like the work of a goth-rock Orange Juice.
Warpaint bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg has said that Right On! was never intended to be more than a set of demos, recorded during downtime after the band finished touring their second album. Gradually though, something began to flourish from these basal efforts, so she booked time in producer and drummer Norm Block’s studio in California, bringing in Broken Bells guitarist Dan Elkan and her bandmate Stella Mozgawa among others to flesh out 10 songs in as many days. Opener Blind, narcotised and reverb-soaked, crawls perhaps further along an experimental path than Warpaint have to date, but there’s little aside from the initially impressive murk to hold the interest.
Don’t be deceived by that exclamation mark on the end of the title: Jenny Lee Lindberg’s ‘right on!’ has many qualities to recommend it, but a great sense of urgency isn’t among them. Instead, in keeping with the two albums she’s recorded with Warpaint, Lindberg’s first solo LP moves in mysterious, often circuitous ways, emphasising mood over melody and aesthetic over dynamic. Which is a polite way of saying that it’s something of a grower, whose charms are revealed like arcane secrets only to those with patience, persistence and a lack of proximity to heavy machinery.
Any listener who felt that Warpaint’s self-titled 2014 album erred on the side of understated textures and half-formed ideas over actual songs might feel a sense of deja vu about the opening track on bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg’s solo debut. Blind dawdles along so amorphously and anonymously that one suspects even Lindberg herself has difficulty recalling it within 10 seconds of its ending. He Fresh and Long Lonely Winter are little better.
Having only released two LPs, an EP and a cluster of singles since 2004 hardly marks out Warpaint as prolific. With album number three stuck in the works it’s a wonder that the four respective band members can muster enough creative energy and/or spare material to divert into side-projects. Yet, it’s not stopped drummer Stella Mozgawa moonlighting with Kurt Vile, singer-guitarist Theresa Wayman commencing the construction of a solo album as well as firing-up new ESG-inspired trio BOSS (with All We Are’s Guro Gikling and sometime Hot Chip drummer Sarah Jones) and – now – bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg from sneaking out a solo set.
jennylee is more commonly known as Jenny Lee Lindberg, the bass player in Warpaint. With her solo album right on! she plays around with the sound of her alma mater, taking it to both mellower and more frenetic places. Like the name jennylee, all the song titles are united in their absence of capital letters, which fits with the records understated feel.
Like all the coolest bass players, Jenny Lee Lindberg came to the instrument late. Inspired by dance, her first love, she began playing at 19 and quickly helped the L.A. foursome Warpaint develop its sound: sensual, somnambulant post-punk, like Bananarama gone zombie. On her solo debut, Lindberg sheds her surname and much of the hypnotic beauty that characterizes her main band, emerging with a set of bleaker, tauter, more tangled-up tunes.
The new solo project from Warpaint bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg was inspired by her love of dance and the idea of making music she could move to - reasons why she picked up the bass at 19. The songs indeed have a kineticism of their own: the often spooky, minimalist grooves cover a wide spectrum of potential types of movement, from contemporary-dance-appropriate slow burns (Blind) to 80s pop shuffles (Never). The murky production sucks out some of the dynamics, but a few extra-spirited tracks push above the rest.