On her musical evolution, Lindberg explains, “my love has always been movement – dance – and it dawned on me one day, how cool would it be if I could make music to move to?!? So I started playing bass at age 19; that seemed like the most obvious choice.” Evidenced in her locked-in bass grooves with Warpaint, this focus on movement is even more obvious throughout her rhythm-forward solo effort.
With Warpaint still very much active, having released new tracks earlier this year and with upcoming festival shows this fall, Lindberg has been constantly writing and making music both with the band and for her solo project for some time. “During the making of [Warpaint’s second album], I started writing songs for what would be my solo record.” she explains. “After we were through touring [for the album], we had a huge chunk of time so I started demo-ing in my home studio.” Lindberg took her time, ensuring she had the physical and mental space to understand exactly what she wanted to create. Most of the record was written over the course of a year, but some of the songs had been percolating for much longer.
“I’m so used to working with multiple people at a time, it’s become second nature to me. However being able to do whatever, whenever was kind of the best thing ever! I had no rules, no limitations to what I could or couldn’t do – it was like being a kid with everything at my disposal.” Keeping a sense of wonder around her new ideas was key. “I wanted to let myself be free – no judgments.”
The open-ended, free-form recording process possible when working solo let Lindberg work in “stream-of-consciousness mode,” sometimes starting with vocals, sometimes with a guitar or bass line – and just “letting it happen.” “I wanted it to sound raw and elemental. The record reminds me of my youth.”
Lindberg co-produced the album with Norm Block, a longtime friend and collaborator, who also plays drums in her touring band. “We get along like two peas in a pod,” Lindberg explains. “What was supposed to be ten days [recording] turned into two and a half months – we were having too much fun!” Lindberg invited a handful of other musicians into the studio to contribute: “I wanted [some] masculine energy on this album, so I asked all boys.”
jennylee and her band made their live debut at LA’s All Star Lanes in early October. Her live show is percussive and intimately electrifying, with Lindberg stalking the stage like the wildling progeny of Siouxsie and a Griffith Park coyote. The band is a four-piece with Lindberg on vocals and guitar, bass and drums behind her. “It’s not much of a production,” she admits, “just some real human shit.”
From the staccato bass licks on disco anthem “boom boom,” the abstract EVOL-era Sonic Youth guitars on album opener “blind,” to the relentless groove and desert-yelped percussive vocals of “riot,” ‘right on!’ is an intensely personal record that’s also dripping with club sweat; both oddly intimate and dancefloor-ready; and more than anything, an immediate and earthly portrait of a musician feeling herself anew.
Sure, she is Jenny Lee from one of the best bands of the moment. Darlings who are producing music that is ethereal meets your inner Goth on a good day. But Jenny Lee has other talents she can offer you that can be pushed a tad further in her debut work, ‘right on!’.
Let’s get this cleared away first – should you buy it? Yes. Hands down. ‘right on!’ is epic, fresh and an album you’ve been aching to dance to in the quiet of your living room on a Saturday night because you couldn’t be arsed to go out and meet up with your mates. It feels celebratory and at the same time – naughty.
Lindberg should always be the girl you watch during a Warpaint performance. She maybe wee but she has such a fantastic relationship with her Rickenbacker and produces the smoothest groves that keeps the flow super tight and deep. If you are not ‘moving your body’ as she sings in her song “Boom Boom” from ‘right on!’ – you really need to loosen up. This is the same cheeky meets sexy energy she channels into her work with Warpaint.
The album is a perfect aperitif to inhale when you need a lil pick me up. It’s husky and perfect to perform some gradual exposure on yourself as you think about making a move. It is also laden with a Joy Division copulating with Red House Painters sound that is familiar but still different enough that you can’t remember if you have heard this before or not. Either way – it makes you happy and you keep on bopping. ‘right on!’ will encourage you to savor it with multiple listens. It is rich and layered as any Warpaint composition. But far more smiley, light hearted in sound while still questioning.
“Bully” lyrics state ‘you better watch your back, I’m coming’. Sinister in nature but the tunes are so dance worthy that you feel like a badass and could really give a shit.
“Never” is the perfect opening single to woo you. It will lure you into Lindberg’s landscape of vocal hazy sleepiness interlaced with a dedicated homage to her Rickenbacker groove.
Sometimes it’s better not to over think your side project and just lean into it. It’s not all about what you should evolve into just because you want to be different from your bread winning band. Lindberg is clearly having fun in her kitchen by doling out a smorgasbord of flavours to indulge upon with full on gusto.