North Carolina band Whoop released their debut album, Whoop!, a few days ago. Talking about the album, frontwoman Fal shares, “‘Whoop’ is a release of every emotion that can be, is, or was bottled up. It’s emotion manifested into one sonic symphony.”

She goes on to add, “The theme [of the album] is simple. Post-relationship introspection.”

Made up of Fal, Will (drums), Nick (bass), and Steve (guitar, producer), Whoop formed in the fall of 2020, bringing together myriad backgrounds and influences including indie, jazz, rock, reggae, and hip-hop.

Fal had worked with Nick previously, and Nick knew Will from school, while Steve was mentoring Nick in an audio engineering program. They started out jamming on Friday nights in Steve’s barn/studio in Raleigh.

According to Fal, “The boys would jam and pick ideas back and forth, while I would lug all my journals out of the woodwork. In those moments, all I could rely on were the music, my words, and an open mind/heart.”

Embracing nine tracks, from a purely subjective viewpoint, highlights on the album include “What I Want,” a stripped-down Jack White-like song topped by Fal’s erogenous voice, reminiscent of Debbie Harry. It’s one of those smouldering, sexy voices – kind of riot grrrl, kind of femme fatale, kind of erotic – that worms its way into your ears.

“Smile” features gleaming guitars reflecting flavours of new wave pop blended with alt-rock. Hints of punk rock give “Feel Good” tight, tough coloration as gang-like harmonies add depth and brassy dimension.

Sleazy guitars open “Jaded,” riding a mid-tempo rhythm made up of a fat, rolling bassline and crunching percussion. Fal’s vocals imbue the lyrics with searching timbres, at once risky and darkly portentous. Strident, almost discordant guitars, conjure up memories of CSN&Y.

Whoop’s music is good, raw, and not burdened by excessive sponges of sound. Yet the icing on the cake is Fal’s yummy voice, simultaneously seductive, sneering, and charismatic. Fal single-handedly lifts Whoop from pretty darn good to topnotch.

Whoop by Alexandria Lassiter

Whoop! Track Listing:

1. What I Want
2. Cool
3. Smile
4. Feel Good
5. Demons
6. Care
7. Jump
8. Jaded
9. Nash Park

Run Time: 30:43
Release Date: November 19, 2021
Record Label: Porcelain Records