TT – LoveLaws (Album Review)

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When you have such a strong unit of musicianship and sensual prowess such as Warpaint, it is no surprise that each of their individual projects carry themselves as something comfortably familiar, yet all the while in a world of their own. Theresa Wayman‘s solo debut as TT sees the release of LoveLaws; an album penned from the romantic sufferings of 14 years on the road, taking Warpaint’s darker tones into new depths. Despite a strong sense of real emotion that can only have come from real events, this reads as something not particularly aimed at anyone other than Wayman herself. LoveLaws is the unraveling of a hoard of feelings across a long period of time, a deeply personal account that lays Wayman bare without an inch of fear.

It would be easy to say that tones are everything in this album, and perhaps this is true at first, but the real beauty comes in the peeling away of layers with each listen. There is a lot going on from the immediate sultry notes to the rush of desperation in ‘I’ve Been Fine’, and that’s just the second track. The haunting pulse of rhythm as the racing heart while thoughts of “Why can’t you be next to me” repeat, building a feeling of longing, fueled by intimate memories. Growing heavier as the track goes on, the intensity of emotion swells as it becomes hard to hide, resulting in a huge release. Everything in this track; pitch, tempo, vocal strain and yes, the tone create that first taste of total immersion and it doesn’t stop here.

‘Love Leaks’ rings in the ears, drowned in melancholy and regretful concern of love lost in a down tempo rhythm. The beat picks up here and there with a soft touch of industrial beats littered throughout. At times the lyrics stand out, for example in ‘Sassafra’s Interlude’, a raw short with one guitar and Wayman’s voice almost unrecognisable; the simplicity of this track lends its focus to the words, yet there is a lot more around it with the altered vocals and abrupt finish which creates an exquisitely unsettling tone.

‘Dram’ stands out with the Warpaint favoured reverb, delicate and hazy; the sort of track that will guide the hips into a gentle sway, superbly sensual with a striking guitar solo that pierces through the dreamy surface to give it real backbone. Following this is ‘Safe’, simply structured, elevated with the unique additions of erratic instrumentals, even a slight jungle beat rhythm that keeps it in time. The basics of this track allow for complex layering of tones and instruments of all kinds in perfect harmony.

There is a darkness to LoveLaws, a sense of loneliness, suggestively from the isolation of touring, highlighting everything beyond the glitz and glamour of seeing the world through one’s passion. It is a profound expression of fighting through desires and feelings of vulnerability.

As the album closes on ‘Too Sweet’ there is a particular emotive strain on the ”So sweet//Too sweet”, leaving these words to linger in the mind. It takes great strength to release an album this personal and Wayman does not hold back with LoveLaws, a truly touching account of relationships and processing of emotion over a long period of time.

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LoveLaws is out now.