Debut 4: Ladyhawke

ladyhawkeLadyhawke – Ladyhawke (released 2008)

As a big fan of the eighties, it normally takes me a little while to warm any modern artist who has been so clearly inspired by the decade. So many get it so wrong and in our current decade where we are drowned with 80’s influenced clothing, movies (seriously, a remake of ‘Fame’…whats that about) and music theres no room for anyone doing it badly to succeed.

This is why I fell in love with Ladyhawke’s music almost immediately. Pip Brown’s debut effort charms us with modern indie pop sounds, seasoned with the odd 80’s flavouring. Her sweet, yet edgy vocal style eases through thirteen synth led pop tracks, each with infectious stomping beats complimented perfectly by on beat hand-claps and percussion. ‘My Delirium’ and ‘Another Runaway’ are so perfectly laced with this style you could be forgiven for assuming they were actually twenty years old if it wasn’t for the modern production.

Its difficult to liken her to one 80’s artist in particular, but you can almost imagine her CD collection as a teenager. It wouldn’t be a surprise if you came across Kim Wilde, Bananarama, The Bangles or Fleetwood Mac as you can certainly pick out elements of their music throughout this album.

Something about Ladyhawke is incredibly theatrical in the most subtle of ways, its like she was stripped of the glitter, high waisted jeans and big hair that coated the stars of the 80’s but was still able to produce music that sounded at home when played loud through stadium speakers. With ‘Back Of The Van’ and ‘Crazy World’ especially, its easy to imagine a sold out crowd chanting the infectious choruses back at her.

One of my guilty pleasures when it comes to the 80’s is the power ballad. Tracks such as ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey and ‘I Touch Myself’ by the Divinyls for example will never lose favour with me, they may be cheesy, but theres something so wonderfully epic about them. Ladyhawkes version of the ballad ‘Morning Dreams’ isn’t quite as inspiring for dance floor power grabs, but still displays similar signature guitar hooks and dream like backing vocals that determine it wouldn’t be out of place at the end of a school disco, with the cast of The Breakfast Club.

I don’t want to sound like I’m just describing Ladyhawke as an out of place 80’s rip off, because shes more than that, this album is better than that. With genre breaking tracks such as ‘Paris is Burning’ she proves that not only does she provide guilt free 80’s nostalgia, shes a genuine talent of her own decade and capable of sticking around for a long time yet.

Choice Track: Ladyhawke – Dusk Till Dawn (Drop Io) (Alt Link YSI)

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