Ladyhawke – Wild ThingsCultureMusicAlbum reviews
On the surface, the third album from New Zealander Phillipa “Pip” Brown is an altogether more sedate and less spiky offering than 2012’s Anxiety, but when listened to loud this more mature and measured sound still fizzes with the incessant, peppy synth undertones that fans of her electro-pop roots will no doubt love.
None of the ten new tracks of Wild Things are hands-in-the-air, shout-out-loud anthemic, but that’s no surprise. Instead, what the album does boast is an almost constant supply of arms-by-your-side, shoulders swaying, summery electro-pop goodness that shimmers with a muted but somehow still pleasingly sweet and reassuringly polished rhythm.
Ethereal, dreamlike title track Wild Things, for example, puts the listener right there in the middle of that field or that forest, with best friends, dancing round that fire, swaying, laughing, and just generally revelling in being alive. Golden Girl’s poppy, choppy acoustic guitar riff contrasts with the warm, incessant muted electric guitar undertones of the soaring Wonderland, while sultry closer Dangerous gives tantalising glimpses of past Ladyhawke offerings: its clear 70s disco influence managing to feel like the cheeky older sister of Brown’s past sound reliving its more rebellious youth.
While undoubtedly still an enjoyable record, it’s fair to say a certain spark has gone from the Ladyhawke sound. While this may well be due to Brown’s blessedly more settled and less troubled personal life, which has been well documented, it’s something that is definitely felt musically. As a listener this isn’t necessarily a negative, but previous jagged edges would appear to have been carefully rounded off, resulting in an album that, while an easy and enjoyable listen, never quite seems to reach the crest of its potential crescendo.
Wild Things wraps everything from love, to obsession, to trust fund kids in a shimmery, synth-heavy blanket of electro-pop that, fittingly, wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack of a particularly summery series of Made in Chelsea, and not in a bad way. “This is what a love song sounds like,” declares opener A Love Song and it feels like this is what a matured, happier and less intense Ladyhawke album sounds like, albeit one that is still pleasingly catchy, almost in spite of itself. The question for the listener is, is it for better or, as some may well say, for worse?
Wild Things is released on 3rd June 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for A Love Song here: