Albums, Music, The Revue — May 21, 2018 at 5:05 am

TT – ‘LoveLaws’ (album review)

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For more than a decade, Warpaint have established themselves as one of the most creative forces within the indie music scene that define categorization. So when its members pursue individual projects, it shouldn’t be surprising they explore new soundscapes. Jenny Lee Lindberg, as Jennylee, went new wave and Gothic rock on her solo debut, Right On. Now it’s guitarist and vocalist Theresa Becker Wayman’s turn, who as TT delves into dark, introspective realms on her tantalizing debut, LoveLaws.

More electronic and synth-driven, LoveLaws combines the scintillating trip-hop of Massive Attack, the shallow darkwave depths of London Grammar, and the smouldering downtempo of Portishead into one intimate and at times seductive album. Anthems, as such, are not on order, but instead immersive experiences fill the LP from start to finish. Opener “Mykki” is the tip of the iceberg. Lush synths swirl through the air as Wayman’s vocals lustfully call out: “I wanna take care of you ’till my arms can’t move you.” The effects of a relationship and how it can tear one apart are repeated on the closer, “Too Sweet”. Darker and more haunting, the song is highlighted by the deep rhythms throbbing in the background and Wayman’s enchanting vocals. Cautiously she sings:

“Where to start? It follows me.
You know, I’m made of a lover
I cannot part.
It’s not in me.”

Haunting yet reverent organ sounds and stark percussion commence one of the record’s highlights, “Love Leaks”. It’s a song made for a candlelit room where intimacy is replaced by loneliness, and the aching of one’s heart is magnified when Wayman says, “I feel like we lost our love”. This yearning for someone – or even one’s inner self – is magnified on the bleak “I’ve Been Fine”. Commencing like a solitary walk through an alley at 3 in the morning, the song unexpectedly intensifies into a whirlwind of cascading synths and electronics. Her guitar, too, makes a rare starring turn, and its steely, chiming tones complement Wayman’s rage.

Wayman’s allure reaches new territory on “Dram”, as she’s created a lush and dazzling but introspective Wonderland. Her intoxicating voice is the seduction, but her dissonant guitar is the hook that draws us further into her world. While she sings about a former partner, it feels like she’s singing to us, telling us to “Better relax / ‘Cause I feel like I’m falling / Inside your eyes.”

Wayman looks introspectively on the melodic and sultry “Take One”. It is a message to herself that “she can be myself” despite what has happened and what others may think. It is on The Dream”, though, where every aspect of Wayman’s artistry masterfully comes together. The song is a stirring piece of electronic cinema. The production work is stark and minimalist, but it’s daring, mysterious, and darkly enchanting. Wayman’s distant vocals are suspenseful yet alluring, and her lyrics about learning to love, listen, and learn are equally spellbinding. Similarly, we’re learning one other thing about Wayman – that she is one incredible artist whose talents are limitless within the context of her band or individually. An artist that can make the introspective sound like a collective experience and turning enchantment into seduction.

LoveLaws is out now via Wayman’s own label LoveLeaks and Caroline International, and purchasing links are available here.

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