Release Date: Sep 22, 2008
Record label: Modular
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Pip Brown certainly knows one end of a pop tune from the other. Like Santogold, Lykke Li and numerous other solo singers seemingly incapable of actually selling any records, Brown, as Ladyhawke, has set her controls for the heart of the American Apparel-friendly hipster blog scene, but what sets her apart are those tunes. Big tunes. Big, lovable and expertly crafted tunes.
Not many budding pop women take their names from strange 1980s fantasy films starring Matthew Broderick and Rutger Hauer, but then New Zealand's Pip Brown isn't your typical next-big-thing. Adored by Courtney Love and Kylie, the 27-year-old arrives in the middle of the synthpop revival like a made-for-Smash Hits star - bold, strange and packing a cargo of melodic, dramatic songs. Magic may be the best opening track on any album this year, a widescreen electronic epic that recalls the bassline from Pet Shop Boys' Opportunities, a vocal line from Garbage's Queer, and the icy grandeur of The Passions.
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.
Thinking can ruin a good piece of music. It can enhance the listening experience, too, but trying to insert reason where it doesn't belong is the best way to miss the point, especially when there isn't one. Ladyhawke's self-titled debut isn't a thinking album, but it's not a dumb one either. On Ladyhawke, underneath the glitz, there's more glitz.