Audio + Video: Keep Feeling 'Sweet Fascination' With Ladyhawke


In the last few days I've been getting my life binge watching Halt & Catch Fire, AMC's super-underrated show about the birth of modern computing during the early 1980s. Though I'm mostly swooning over the intense drama and the sexy, cerebral brooding of Lee Pace's enigmatic Joe McMillan, I'm also geeking out over the killer New Wave and Punk soundtrack that the show possesses. By the grace of Spotify, someone had the bright idea to not only do a full playlist of songs inspired by the show, but also do a soundtrack for each individual character (!), and its been a blast listening to recognizable (INXS, Grace Jones, Depeche Mode) and obscure faves (Romeo Void, X-Ray Spexs) allowing my cup to runneth over in all the electric feels.

While there isn't a synth stroke today that can touch the severity and panache of the electronic sound that dominated the decade of decadence, today's revival of New Wave has had its fair share of authentic moments where it feels as if we're taking a stroll through Vice City. I've been particularly impressed with a few records of note (Brandon Flowers' recent solo debut, The Desired Effect, and Little Boots' Nocturnes from 2013, for example), but Ladyhawke, to me, was one of the first "New Wave revival" acts as her flawless 2008 self-titled debut was rife with drum machines and keytars that felt lifted from the playbooks of early '80s Kim Wilde and Rio-era DuranDuran. I loved everything about that album to where the great expectation for her 2012 follow-up, Anxiety, failed to match and left me feeling a little cold.

Well, it isn't chilly anymore, as after a four-year hiatus Ladyhawke has come back to thaw us all out with a duo of warm, synth-infused bangers that are culled from her upcoming third effort, Wild Things. Spangled and spry, "Sweet Fascination" and "Love Song" are indeed great re-introductions to her penchant for room-engulfing, serpentine synths and melodic pop hooks, and with their trippy 8-bit Paul Robertson-created lyric videos, Ladyhawke (birth certificate name Phillipa Brown) appears to place her Wild Things project in a playful state of mind. This cheerier disposition is a welcomed turn of events as in an interview with Fashion Quarterly, the New Zealander opened up about her creative dry spell and her battle with alcohol during a serious bout of depression which resulted in her heavy silence after Anxiety. Now healthier, happier, and even recently married (!), Ladyhawke is back to blessing us with her brand of synthesized nirvana, and its going to feel like 1985 all over again this summer when Wild Things drops on June 3rd.


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