One might experience War Girl as a sort of time portal to a 60's music festival where The Upsetters, Fela Kuti, Chaka Khan and War became one damn sexy, revolutionary band: subversive lyrics are counterpointed against groovy, danceable rhythms and political statements become a hip-swaying, danceable affair, couched in a rainbow of musical flavors and colors touching on Afrobeat, reggae, and So Cal garage rock.
War Girl is the invention of Matt Wignall, OG producer of the Cold War Kids - who had spent the last several years kicking songs around his [largely analog] recording studio, Tackyland, in Long Beach, California. In fact, Tackyland is almost the first band member of War Girl, given that it has the space and the energy to support the creation of deep, honest sound-the kind of sound that infused songs like "Hang Me Out To Dry" and "Hospital Beds" for the Cold War Kids, which were birthed there some 10 years ago.
Joining Wignall are Ecuadorian percussionist and drummer Erick Diego Nieto who learned percussion and juggling in an Ecuadorian clown school, (and was brought to America by his mother in the 90's with a suitcase and the beat up drum kit he still plays to this day). Also on percussion Jeff Suri, who grew up in Long Beach under the tutelage of local hero Stephan Hodges (Tom Waits, Mike Watt, David Lynch) whose techniques included having a 12-year old Suri do Mickey Hart yoga techniques as practice. These first songs were recorded live to tape with Nathan Willet & Matt Maust of Cold War Kids, on bass and organ. During the course of these recordings their latest single blew up and they were replaced live with Tamara Raye and Enya Preston on bass and keyboards.
There was no singer at the outset, and Maust recommended a girl who had opened for CWK : Anne Dereaux. Hailing from Nashville and sounding somewhere between Rihanna, Beyonce and Patsy Kline, she had opened for Cold War Kids in another band, also trading off on lead vocals is Santa Monica girl Marika Dahlin, who grew up around the percussion and singing of Malawi, Africa, where her parents operate the much loved charity Water Wells For Africa.
Musically it's as creative and fresh as it is familiar. A song about a cheating boyfriend becomes a metaphor for a dishonest government, another track tells us about an individual getting ousted from their building in NY as the tide of progress and gentrification changes the landscape. All in all it's pretty groovy.
See for yourself; Soundcloud sampler- https://soundcloud.com/wargirl/sets/war-girl-2-tracks
We are opening the guest list for this very special event with RSVP, and will be offering lathe cut copies of their super limited 10", which have been individually tricked out by Maust and Wignall. They are limited to 70 copies, and each has a unique, hand embellished, hand treated cover on a series of photos by Matt Wignall. RSVP in person or by calling 562.433.4996