TITLE: DANCING GOLD
LABEL: CLOUDS HILL
RATING: 8.5/ 10
WORDS: GUGULETHU KHUMALO
Vintage and retro has made a comeback, in Wargirl’s new record, Dancing Gold. With an amazing mixture of soulful funk, fierce vocals, hardened drums and pure sass – it’s a new, almost unusual sound to the alternative scene drawing inspiration from reggae, the ‘80s and from iconic female led bands . This six-piece Long Island-based band has experimented with and skillfully adopted more retro-psychedelia influences and subtle understated reggae sounds.
Although signed to a record label Clouds Hill this album is reminiscent of the DIY-garage-band era in terms of its amazingly raw and unfiltered sound. Multilayered, with an undeniable riot grrl influence throughout their album meshed with a Motown-Esque funk element, many of the tracks on the album are complemented by a strong emphasis on the bass in the album and the vocals.
‘I Told Ya’ by far is one of the best songs on the album, an ode to the afro influences namely the Motown influences, and subtle nods to the strong female rock sounds of the 90s and early 2000s
The strong vocals and bass guitar are a constant presence throughout the album, particularly on tracks such as ‘2069’ and ‘Dancing Gold’. Both of which rock a creative and strange combination of sounds from the past and the future, including the simplistic sound composed of strong bass and snare sound.
‘Whatcha Say’, ‘Pretend’ and ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ are very similar in sound and seem to have the same stylistic influences. Mainly inspired by the afro-punk and glam rock sounds made famous by bands such as Def Leppard and funk influences of the fabulous 70s complete with a dance vibe. The track ‘Pretend’ reads like a reclamation of the classic heartbreak anthem. This upbeat energy is continued in the track ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’, a dance anthem complete with repetitive keys and bold trumpets in the background competing with disco diva Diana Ross and afro-futuristic groups such as Earth, Wind & Fire.
‘I Told Ya’ by far is one of the best songs on the album, an ode to the afro influences namely the Motown influences, and subtle nods to the strong female rock sounds of the 90s and early 2000s, such as the three-piece female led band Le Tigre. While the track ‘Drive’, bass-heavy and complemented with drums, is on the richer and more soulful side of the album.
Wargirl has drawn inspiration from the best genres and subgenres in music to come up with their Dancing Gold album, paying homage to the past from the future generations
The lead single of this album: ‘Hang on’ according to the band serves as a reminder ‘that our minds do play tricks on us” has a comparable heavier sound than the rest of the album. Catchy riffs, synthesiser and echoed “ liquid gold synthesiser. reminiscent of the ’80s in its echoey vintage futuristic style. The vocals take a bit of a back seat and allow some of the other instruments to take centre stage, at various points in the song. The track ‘Echoes and Cry’, stray from the established sound pattern and aesthetic of the whole album, complete with some new backing vocals and guitar riffs.
Wargirl has drawn inspiration from the best genres and subgenres in music to come up with their Dancing Gold album, paying homage to the past from the future generations with their signature Wargirl sound.
Dancing Gold is out now via CLOUDS HILL