Ladyhawke, 'Ladyhawke' (Modular)

8
Ladyhawke
Critical Mass
Label: Modular

by Nadine Oregan

Plundering the 1980s for inspiration (shock!), 27-year- old New Zealander Pip Brown emerges with a confection of synth-infused, mammoth-chorused tunes that sound surprisingly and thrillingly fresh. The trick lies in Brown's blissfully irony-free attitude: Through the digital wizardry and pumping beats, you can hear an unabashedly heartfelt and occasionally vulnerable artist. The exquisite "Love Don't Live Here" -- a wistful tale of rejection -- starts small before unexpectedly building into a disco-fueled, bluesy-guitar-tinged epic, while the juddering "Magic" recalls New Order but pulses with an addictive grandeur of its own.

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