The unique sound of NZ’s very own alternative-rock queen, Ladyhawke (aka. Pip Brown), is undoubtedly familiar to most of us after her breakthrough 2008 self-titled album soared to the top of charts, with hits including Paris is Burning, Dusk Til Dawn and My Delirium.
I had the pleasure of attending her last show on home soil at the Big Day Out 2010, in which she charmed a fanatical crowd with her distinctive synth-pop-rock during a late afternoon spot on the Green Stage. Since then, she has been touring and making headway in both Europe and the United States, finally taking time out to record her follow-up album, Anxiety, while based in London.
Released in May, Anxiety is an appropriately named second record to her ground-breaking debut. Making a subtle departure from Ladyhawke’s signature synth-heavy throwback-to-the-80’s sound, Anxiety has a darker, rockier tone that accurately captures her apprehension and stress while recording “that elusive second album”.
In saying that, lead singles Black, White and Blue and Sunday Drive showcase the fact that Ladyhawke hasn’t lost her natural feel for creating fun, pop melodies above layers of electronic-rock.
Following the success of her first album that blasted Ladyhawke from relative obscurity to worldwide acclaim, Anxiety was no easy task to achieve. It is a well-balanced follow-up, which clearly explores a new direction without sacrificing all the unique elements that initially fuelled Ladyhawke’s rise to fame four years ago.
Currently, Ladyhawke is touring Anxiety around the world and is, of course, bringing the show back to home turf. Be sure to catch her first NZ show in over two years at The Studio on July 14th. Tickets start at $43 and can be bought through Ticketmaster.