One thing I’ve come to enjoy about synthpop over they last couple years is its ability to convey emotions that regular instruments can’t quite get right. Synths can provide a sense of ethereal happiness, but also get dingy and dark like you’re drowning in an ocean of despair. It’s quite the range. On Wild Things, Ladyhawke sticks mostly on the happiness end of the spectrum though it isn’t all sunshine and puppy dogs.
Pip Brown has been playing as Ladyhawke for a number of years now, with Wild Things being her third album under the moniker. Her past records never really did much for me, but this new album, out June 3, has been running on a loop in my head for the past few days.
My favorite off Wild Things hasn’t been released as a single yet, but I think they should put it out there. “Chills” is a great marriage of 80’s post-disco and mid-90’s pop with hints of a lot of stuff, from “Electric Avenue” to Len’s “Steal My Sunshine.” The song reveals the biggest theme of the album through an anthemic chorus that repeasts “This is love. This is love. This is everything!”
Fellow Chicagoan Tommy English produced Wild Things, and I think the collaboration between him and New Zealand native Ladyhawke turned out as well as one could hope. Synthpop records can often feel over-produced, but this feels organic and not forced. Brown’s lyrics fit with the vibe they created and the album came out as suited to dancing by yourself in your bedroom to hanging out at the beach with your friends. Summer will still be a couple weeks out when it drops, but this album will start the season early for sure.
Wild Things is being released on Polyvinyl Records, and you can pre-order it now. I got myself one of the limited edition yellow-splatter vinyls (only 300 copies). Ladyhawke will also be on the road for a handful of shows starting June 21 in Boston. Hit up her site to see if she’s playing near you!