War Tapes are a Los Angeles-based band whose name may ring out to those very familiar with the Los Angeles music scene. The band, which is led by Neil Popkin, hasn’t released new music in nearly a decade following a string of EPs and a full length in 2009. Today we’re excited to premiere the band’s video for lead single “City Girls” from their upcoming EP Only Time Will Tell. The EP will be released through the MAKE Records label, of which the band’s drummer Billy Mohler is a partner.
“City Girls” is an ultra-melodic rock ‘n roll song with jangly guitars and Popkin’s deadpan-style delivery. The chorus features tom drum rolls and more sparse guitar work, showing off the band’s surf-rock influence despite the darker vibes of the song and video. “I’ll stop the world / Before I get swept away / You can call me names and forget the feelings first” Popkin sings during the hooky refrain.
Speaking of the video, it features the LBGTQ star MZ Neon in various scenes around the band’s hometown of Los Angeles, whether smoking a cigarette along a fountain in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, striking a pose on the Walk of Fame or standing in front of a 24-hour adult theater on Santa Monica Boulevard. All the while the color contrast is warped and distorted, giving off a strange lo-fi psychedelia vibe to the video.
“These songs pull from our post-punk roots, but also dive deeper into our love for bands like the Clash and Talking Heads,” said Popkin. “We started making various bedroom demos, sending them back and forth, and slowly but surely developed a new sound that we all were vibing with. We then got into Billy’s home studio and recorded these songs. We believe we’ve all gotten better at our instruments since we first started War Tapes, and so the recording process was very fluid and natural.”
Only Time Will Tell EP Track List
1. “Only Time Will Tell”
2. “Pale Blue Dot”
3. “City Girls”