"It feels like I've been away for a while, but I haven't been hiding - honest," a nervous Ladyhawke
announced during her first UK show in 12 months last night.
While we're inclined to agree with her (it's been over three years since she released her eponymous debut), we've always kept her first LP on regular rotation in the hope that new material would eventually catch us by surprise.
As you can imagine then, we were more than a bit excited when an invite to listen to a live preview of her forthcoming record popped up in our inbox. Here's what we managed to jot down: First and foremost, forget the stories that her new material is wildly different to her previous work. It's not, and it's all the better for it. The first two of nine new songs, called 'Blue Eyes' and 'Anxiety', continue the big choruses and "na na na" hooks of her debut, albeit on a slightly more grandiose and polished scale.Bassy, guitar-heavy number 'Girl Like Me' sounded a shade darker than we're accustomed to but was nonetheless immediately catchy. "I heard you leaving and I'll never know why... I saw you dancing with a girl like me," she sings.'Quick & The Dead' was another instant standout. "It's so real what you say/ It's the nightmare before you wake," she threatens over a mix of psychedelic strings and swizzling electronics. Meanwhile the synth-heavy 'Vaccine' is a poppier affair with the earworm hook: "You will be my vaccine and I'll be your inbetweener". 'Sunday Drive' - a wistful and bouncy electro-indie number - is nowhere near as dull as the title suggests, while the glitchy 'Black, White & Blue' sounded like a Joan Jett anthem circa 1988.In fact, the only song that didn't immediately grab our attention was last of the newbies 'Gone Gone Gone'. That said, we're pleased to report that the lion's share of the new material is a surprisingly confident step up from the notoriously shy singer.
The full setlist appears below:
'Blue Eyes' (new song)
'Anxiety' (new song)
'Girl Like Me' (new song)
'Quick & The Dead' (new song)
'Dusk Till Dawn'
'Vaccine' (new song)
'Paris Is Burning'
'Sunday Drive' (new song)
'Back of the Van'
'Black, White & Blue' (new song)
'Gone Gone Gone' (new song)
'My Delirium' Ladyhawke's new, as-yet-untitled album is due out in early 2012