Johanna Warren

Lesson for Mutants (Wax Nine/Carpark Records)

Contact Jaycee Rockhold, Yuri Kwon about Johanna Warren

Prolific musician and artist Johanna Warren releases a new single/video, “Piscean Lover,” from her forthcoming album, Lessons for Mutants, out October 7th via Wax Nine/Carpark Records. Candid lyrics have always been one of Warren’s strong suits, but the reflections across Lessons for Mutants are especially honest. Warren had been touring non-stop, until it reached a point where she was addicted to being on the road. The pandemic brought an abrupt stop, and the period surrounding Lessons for Mutants became a time to self-examine and detox. This exploration of masochistic ambition and artistic martyrdom overflows into grunge anthem “Piscean Lover”: “It’s alright, we’re not ok/ We burn out not to fade away.” It follows lead single “I’d Be Orange,” “a folk rock anthem… (and the first track on the album) in which she explores the costs of getting hurt for love” (Brooklyn Vegan). The accompanying video was filmed spontaneously one snowy night on the lane leading up to Warren’s home in rural Wales.


Lessons for Mutants is Warren’s most dynamic to date, shapeshifting seamlessly from searing punk screams to sparkly psych-folk soundscapes, from the bootleg ambivalence of Dylan’s Basement Tapes to cosmic stoner grooves reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s acoustic moments. The album’s running theme of metamorphosis reflects major changes in Warren’s personal life: after a decade of relentless touring, as the world was closing its borders, the American multi-instrumentalist unexpectedly found herself quarantining in rural Wales, where she has been residing ever since.


Tracking for Lessons for Mutants began in New York in 2018, but the majority of the album was recorded in her newfound Wales home, surrounded by sheep, cows and a forager’s paradise of wild edible plants. The album was tracked live with a band to two inch tape, which was a revelatory new way of working for Warren. It forced her to commit and include any little anomalies that arose. “There’s this unspoken rule in modern music—modern life, really—that everything needs to be Auto-Tuned and ‘on the grid,’” Warren says. “This record is an act of resistance against that. There’s beauty and power in our aberrations, if we can embrace them.”


This October, Johanna Warren will return stateside to tour in support of Lessons for Mutants. A full list of dates can be found below and tickets for all dates are on sale now.