The beauty is in the details
TT is the solo project from Theresa Wayman, one-fourth of the rock band Warpaint, which she formed in Los Angeles 14 years ago. Wayman has decided to debut her solo project with LoveLaws, which was produced by Wayman, her brother Ivan Wayman and on her own label, Love Leaks. Wayman’s busy life includes being a single mother and touring with Warpaint. However, she was still able to find time to craft her own music for LoveLaws throughout all of this—on the road, at home in Los Angeles, the band’s rehearsal space or anywhere she could find the time. Despite having a never-ending list of other duties, Wayman clearly did not want to haphazardly throw this album together. She tackled most of the music herself—playing guitar, bass, synth and programming the drum beats. By controlling nearly every aspect of the album, the end result is a beautifully crafted work of art.
The first track starts off with a groovy hip-hop beat, juxtaposed with harmonious distant vocals which ramp up to a dreamy synth rush during the chorus which leaves the listener fully immersed in the music. “I’ve Been Fine” is a previously released single and definitely a stand out track on the album. It is a gentler work but also features a strong beat throughout. The tune is soft, mysterious and melancholy as Wayman slowly muses, “Still can’t help remember / All the times / Our bodies pressed together / And you were mine… Why can’t you be next to me?” About halfway through the track, the song flatlines for a second before exploding in an electric rock finale. The final few times that Wayman sings “Why can’t you be next to me?” are moody and pair perfectly with the grungy background while her previous lines in the track were sad and haunting.
Wayman’s dreamy vocals really shine on “Dram.” Unlike some of the other tracks which focus on the music and have Wayman’s voice acting as support, this track is beautifully calm, and the vocals stand center stage. The song is still meticulously produced as there are added echoing layers and distortions to nearly every line. Overall, the album has a dark and haunting sound, but this flips on “Safe.” The track has a cheery yet dreamy beat, and the lyrics match this vibe. Wayman lovingly sings “Baby you’re so safe / I don’t want to wait / For the reasons why / I should give us a try.” The final minute of the song has added layers of miscellaneous sounds—electric beats, synthetic tropical noises, maracas, etc. However, it’s not overwhelming or random; these noises blend together well and perfectly add some extra dimension to the song. “Sassafras Interlude” breaks up the list of lengthy tracks and features vocals and a distant guitar switching between two notes. The track is clearly organic instead of intricately produced like the others. It is something to cleanse the palate before diving into the final two songs.
“Take One” is bass-heavy, moody and self-empowering as Wayman sings “I can be myself” and shows off the higher end of her range during the chorus. The final track, “Too Sweet,” starts off softer and simpler than most of the previous tracks. It begins with a very distant beat and Wayman singing “Where to start / It follows me / You know, I’m made of a lover / I cannot part, it runs in me / To know we’re made of each other.” The first half of the song is simple enough to act as another interlude, but it slowly builds. An almost tribal-sounding beat kicks in and grows in intensity. Nearing the end, Wayman’s vocals are surrounded by a tornado of beats, angelic background vocals and feedback until they die down and allow the album to close with 20 seconds of fading white noise.
Wayman spent plenty of time carefully plotting each second of this album, and it definitely shows. The whole work is very polished and intricate, and there is not a single note out of place. With every listen, listeners will discover another facet to each second of this album—a new layer, a new obscure backing beat, a new meaning to a lyric. LoveLaws is everything an artist would hope for in a debut album. It gives a solid taste of Wayman’s sound as a solo artist and is sure to leave listeners anxious for more.