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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

Unlike her indie-disco counterparts CSS, the Gossip and Ting Tings, New Zealand one-woman show Ladyhawke has yet to break through to the mainstream, despite possessing a much more polished sound that seems tailor-made for the upper reaches of the charts. Her self-titled debut album, co-written with the likes of Pascal Gabriel (Dido) and Hannah Robinson (Girls Aloud) suggests that commercial success will surely only be a matter of time. Not afraid to plunder both her cool and distinctly uncool record collection, Ladyhawke, aka Pip Brown, has crafted 13 instantly accessible songs, each of which sounds like a potential hit single. Heavily influenced by synth pop, new wave, and AOR in equal measures, Ladyhawke, sounds like a who's who of '80s pop. "Back of the Van" is the Pretenders meets Van Halen's "Jump"; "Professional Suicide" sounds like a lost classic Gary Numan single; while the storming chorus of "My Delirium" echoes the power pop of the Bangles and the Go Go's. Best of all is "Crazy World," whose chugging basslines and dreamy synths would perfectly fit the closing scenes of a Brat Pack movie. But despite its blatant retro vibe, it still manages to sound fresh thanks to its clever production and Brown's fiery and vibrant vocals. She may be a rather awkward live performer, but on record she's full of charisma and personality, and never more so than on the thumping "From Dusk Til Dawn" and the highly infectious "Paris Is Burning," arguably two of the finest pop singles to miss the Top 40 in recent times. Ladyhawke is unlikely to win any awards for originality but you'd be hard pressed to find a more consistent and hook-laden debut all year. © Jon O'Brien /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 3, 2016 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

Ladyhawke's self-titled debut album was a slick update of '80s pop and rock, done with plenty of brains and infused with the heart and soul of Pip Brown (aka Ladyhawke). On the long-awaited follow-up, Anxiety, she again works with producer Pascal Gabriel and the two concoct a sound that is less dreamy and far less '80s-influenced. This time the songs have a much more '90s-inspired approach. All ten of the songs have a tight, focused feel that is punchy and direct, making everything pounce out the speakers and right into the listener's brain. The tracks have the sultry burn of prime Garbage ("The Quick & the Dead"), they have dramatic twists and turns like Pulp ("Sunday Drive"), they kick like Elastica or Sleeper ("Vaccine," "Gone Gone Gone"), and they generally sound amazing. There's even a track that sounds like some kind of insane hybrid of the Breeders and Katy Perry ("Vanity") that shows just how much pop and power there is on Anxiety. From the powerhouse thump of the rhythm section and the tightly controlled growl of the guitars to the well-placed and never standard synths, the sound of the album is impressive. Brown and Gabriel build such a strong musical framework that it could swamp a less powerful singer, but Brown's dusky vocals are a perfect match. She sings of her troubled life in a voice that is easy to relate to, transmitting pain and confusion without overselling it. In fact, unless you really listen to the words (or look at the song titles), you may just hear the album as a good-time rocker and miss all the suffering under the la-la choruses and massive hooks. And the hooks are really large. While there may be no "Paris is Burning"-sized hit this time out, the high level of intensity in the music, words, and Brown's singing -- plus the cumulative thrill that builds up as song after song punches you right in the face -- more than makes up for it. It's a great pop record with plenty of guts and a sense of reality that is so often missing from records that sound this fun. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Pop - Released December 12, 2019 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

Booklet
Ladyhawke's self-titled debut album was a slick update of '80s pop and rock, done with plenty of brains and infused with the heart and soul of Pip Brown (aka Ladyhawke). On the long-awaited follow-up, Anxiety, she again works with producer Pascal Gabriel and the two concoct a sound that is less dreamy and far less '80s-influenced. This time the songs have a much more '90s-inspired approach. All ten of the songs have a tight, focused feel that is punchy and direct, making everything pounce out the speakers and right into the listener's brain. The tracks have the sultry burn of prime Garbage ("The Quick & the Dead"), they have dramatic twists and turns like Pulp ("Sunday Drive"), they kick like Elastica or Sleeper ("Vaccine," "Gone Gone Gone"), and they generally sound amazing. There's even a track that sounds like some kind of insane hybrid of the Breeders and Katy Perry ("Vanity") that shows just how much pop and power there is on Anxiety. From the powerhouse thump of the rhythm section and the tightly controlled growl of the guitars to the well-placed and never standard synths, the sound of the album is impressive. Brown and Gabriel build such a strong musical framework that it could swamp a less powerful singer, but Brown's dusky vocals are a perfect match. She sings of her troubled life in a voice that is easy to relate to, transmitting pain and confusion without overselling it. In fact, unless you really listen to the words (or look at the song titles), you may just hear the album as a good-time rocker and miss all the suffering under the la-la choruses and massive hooks. And the hooks are really large. While there may be no "Paris is Burning"-sized hit this time out, the high level of intensity in the music, words, and Brown's singing -- plus the cumulative thrill that builds up as song after song punches you right in the face -- more than makes up for it. It's a great pop record with plenty of guts and a sense of reality that is so often missing from records that sound this fun. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 3, 2016 | Polyvinyl Records

After breaking through with her 2012 album Anxiety, which melded electronic pop sheen with '90 alt-rock crunch and spawned the ubiquitous hit "Blue Eyes," Ladyhawke's next album presented her with a challenge. Pip Brown initially wrote and began recording a batch of darker, more personal songs, but soon decided they didn't really reflect her state of mind. She ditched the recordings and went back with producer Tommy English to try again. Arriving in 2016, Wild Things is the result and it is certainly very sunny and very poppy. It forgoes most of the guitar-driven electro crunch of Anxiety in favor of a modern pop sound built around slick synths and big choruses. Mixing fun uptempo tracks like "Money to Burn" and "The River," which harks back to "Blues Eyes," with more reflective ballads ("Hillside Avenue," the title track) that show the influence of Chvrches, the album sounds made for the radio. Brown and English remove all the rough edges and messy emotions found on previous albums, replacing them with easy-to-swallow arrangements and tightly packaged feelings. It's a sound that's easily recognizable to fans of Carly Rae Jepsen or Tegan and Sara. Most of the songs here could have fit on either of their most recent albums, or on albums by any number of artists pursuing a similarly '80s-influenced, pop-with-synths approach. This compatibility with the prevailing is useful from a marketing standpoint, and possibly from a sales one too, but it doesn't lend itself to differentiating Ladyhawke from the crowd. By sacrificing any grit or punch, Wild Things loses much of its voice, making it sound like just another pop record, easy to ignore or forget about. Unlike Tegan and Sara, who have an exceedingly original lyrical outlook and voices that bleed emotion, or Carly Rae, who tethers her winsome voice to songs that are so hooky that they sink deep into the brain, Ladyhawke's songs here just sort of flow from one to the next, sounding for the most part like commercials. A few songs stand out, like the almost rocking "Let It Roll" and the teen movie soundtrack-ready "A Love Song," but even these tracks are sunk by the pedestrian lyrics and paved-over sound. Whether it was leaving behind all the "dark" songs, hiring a producer too conversant in the sounds of the day, or simply trying too hard to have hits, something went wrong on Wild Things. That it comes after an album that seemed to cement her place as a thoughtful and exciting modern pop artist worth keeping tabs on makes it even more painful. Hopefully, she'll right the ship in the future, but for now, this album is a very bland, quite anonymous-sounding disappointment. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 11, 2016 | Polyvinyl Records

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Electronic - Released January 1, 2012 | Modular

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.