Ladyhawke is set to return in 2016 with a brand new album in the form of ‘Wild Things’, the follow-up to her sophomore album, ‘Anxiety’, which was released in 2012. The length between these two albums is explained by Pip: “I’ve never released anything I’m not proud of. That’s important to me. I don’t want to release anything that I have a weird feeling about.”
She describes her latest single as follows: “A Love Song,” is one of the deep-dives into relationships from the album - a sweeping, reverberating revelation ‘This is what a love song sounds like’—meaning it’s not all sappy.”
The new album marks a new stage in Ladyhawke’s life - where ‘Anxiety’ was a literal reflection of her feelings at the time, ‘Wild Things’ is described as “embracing the happier side of my life."
We spoke to Ladyhawke about the upcoming album, her creative influences, and more…
COUP DE MAIN: ‘A Love Song’ is incredible - the 80s vibes are amazing on it, and you’ve said you want the new record to be “even more synthy and poppy”. What 80s synth music do you take inspiration from?
LADYHAWKE: ELO [Electric Light Orchestra], although that’s kind of 70s as well. Fleetwood Mac - that was actually a massive influence for me, back in the day. The use of the DX7 by Christine McVie blew my mind.
CDM: You’ve released the lyric video for ‘A Love Song’, but I saw on your Instagram a teaser for the full music video. What can you tell us about the music video?
LADYHAWKE: I shot it in Croydon, in South London, only a week ago. So it’s a little ways away yet. But it’s bright colours, it’s a fun one. There’s a bit of humour in it as well, it’s quite light-hearted. I don’t wanna give away too much.
MY TOP THREE LOVE SONGS…
CDM: You released ‘Sweet Fascination’ as the lead single in the UK/Europe - what made you decide to use that song instead of ‘A Love Song’?
LADYHAWKE: That was totally not my decision. I would’ve loved it to have been the same song everywhere, but the UK is a different market, and they like to do things different to everywhere else, it seems. So they were quite insistent on ‘Sweet Fascination’ being the first one, and then ‘A Love Song’ after that.
CDM: Both ‘A Love Song’ and ‘Sweet Fascination’ deal with different aspects of love. Do you think that love is the strongest human emotion?
LADYHAWKE: I think it’s one that can definitely make you go crazy, and it’s almost like love can induce mental illness in a lot of people, or bring it out worse. It makes people make crazy decisions. I think ‘Sweet Fascination’ is about obsession, and someone’s fantasy of thinking they love this person, and thinking the person knows them, but they actually don’t. They’re a complete stranger but they’ve made up this entire fantasy in their head. I think love and obsession are almost one in the same thing at some times. Because the person you end up falling in love with, there is an element of obsession in the early days - it’s all you can think about.
CDM: In an interview with NME you described ‘Anxiety’ as darker and rockier - how would you characterise ‘Wild Things’?
LADYHAWKE: I think ‘Wild Things’ is lighter, and funner. I always make music that’s reflective of the mindset I’m in at the time, and how I’m feeling. ‘Anxiety’ was very literal, I was feeling quite anxious about life, whereas ‘Wild Things’ is I’ve let go of so much of that side of my life, and so it’s more like a lighter album. There’s less baggage that's come with this, so it’s embracing the happier side of my life.
CDM: We’re super excited for ‘Wild Things’, so we thought we’d do a quick-fire round of questions about the album. If ‘Wild Things’ was a breed of dog, what breed would it be?
LADYHAWKE: Golden retriever.
CDM: If it were a character from ‘The Simpsons’?
LADYHAWKE: Is this ‘cuz I love ‘The Simpsons'?
LADYHAWKE: Now I’m thinking too much. It would be the Mum that moves in and becomes friends with Marge, and then they go on that drive together, like ’Thelma & Louise’. I can’t remember her name, but she’s really cool. She’s like, ‘Come on Marge, your husband is treating you bad, I’m gonna take you away.’
CDM: If it were a video game?
LADYHAWKE: I know too many video games. Oh my god. That’s way too hard. There was some game called ‘Fantasy Zone’ - I think that’s what it’s called - it’s an old Sega game.
HOW I FEEL ABOUT ‘WILD THINGS’…
CDM: You worked with Tiësto on his song, ‘Last Train’. How did that collaboration come about, and how did it differ to ‘Ladyhawke’ songwriting?
LADYHAWKE: I think Tiësto had been a fan of my music for a little while. We’d always tried to do something together, and it never panned out time-wise. This just worked out. He had a track and he sent it to me, and was like, “Can you write something over the top of this?” So I did. I actually forgot about it for a while, and then I sat on my couch one night with my laptop, and I sung the top-line into my laptop speakers. He liked it, and then I recorded it properly, and that’s how that came about.
CDM: Lots of your previous song titles have come from movies - are there any songs on the new album that do this?
LADYHAWKE: No, not intentionally with this album. But that’s followed me around accidentally, I haven’t meant to do that. It happens by chance. Years ago I was in a band called Two Lane Blacktop - we deliberately named ourselves after the ‘Two-Lane Blacktop’ movie, ‘cuz it’s a car chase movie. All our songs were based on movies, every single song. I love movies, and that was something that me and the singer in Two Lane Blacktop bonded over - we were design students together, we did a film-class together, so we became obsessed with movies. It’s followed me around ever since then, it’s a constant theme.
CDM: The pre-orders for ‘Wild Things’ are rad, I love that there are shoelaces and USBs - what made you decide to include those things in the packages?
LADYHAWKE: <laughs> That was a label thing. I wish I could say it was my genius idea, but…
CDM: The shoelaces are definitely unique.
LADYHAWKE: I thought it was a cool idea too! I can’t claim that it was my idea though.
HOW I FELT ABOUT PLAYING AUCKLAND CITY LIMITS…
CDM: At what age did you write your first ever song, and what was it about?
LADYHAWKE: I remember writing a song when I was about 15. This is the one I can remember. I know I’d been writing poetry for a long time, since I was about eight, but I remember my first one that I put to chords. I was really trying to be like the psychedelic era Beatles, I was obsessed. All I could think about was Beatles and Hendrix. So I tried to write a psychedelic song, and it was the worst. I couldn’t even… If I read it now - I still have the book somewhere - it makes me cringe out loud. It was just about psychedelic stuff.
CDM: If you were to curate your own music festival, who would you want to play and what would the festival be called?
LADYHAWKE: I would have Tame Impala, BØRNS, Fleetwood Mac, OutKast - it’d be a real mixed bag - Missy Elliott, Peaches, I would say Bowie but he’s died..
CDM: You could have the Bowie tribute, Bowie hologram..?
LADYHAWKE: Okay, Bowie hologram. I’m gonna have to get some rock or metal in there, maybe Metallica. Every stage would have its own genre, they’d be zones.
+ for more new music suggestions, check out AllTracks >> alltracks.co.nz
Watch the lyric video for ‘A Love Song’…