Ladyhawke, a singer-songwriter from New Zealand who isn’t Lorde, is back with a dark and stylish piece of synthpop.
The first single from her third album Wild Things melds ominous basslines with dissonant synth effects, to evoke something that’s as much a throwback to 80s pop as it is to some of Nine Inch Nails‘ recent efforts. It’s slicked and polished, but there’s still an edge beneath it all.
As the title of the song suggests, it’s about that feeling of desire and apprehension you get from being around someone that you know just spells trouble. But unlike what she’s singing about, this song is anything but a guilty pleasure, and the lyrics are a well-crafted accompaniment to the track’s production.
Despite the dark undercurrent, Ladyhawke has stated that a lot of the material that she’d written for her record had, interestingly enough, in fact been scrapped for being “too dark”, with the rejected material supposedly not being a good reflection of who she was. But no matter what she says, this still bucks the trend of pop necessarily being something shallow or throwaway. And to be sure, it’s definitely pop music – just with a subversive allure not often seen these days.
Hometown: Masterton, New Zealand.
Upcoming album: Wild Things, out June 2016 via Polyvinyl.
Sounds like: La Roux, Little Boots.
Say what? Ladyhawke almost died after contracting erysipeloid at age 10, a disease which usually affects seagulls.
Over and out, by Darren.