Hype can be a curious thing. Sometimes it can swamp a new artist with irritating promotional ubiquity – the result being that punters are so sick of hearing about this ‘new discovery’ they instantly turn to backlash mode. Sometimes this hype can overshadow any artistic nuances in the work of a new artist, or block any opportunities for interesting, gradual career growth – expectations are unfairly raised, and people expect to be immediately blown into the stratosphere by the sonic power of a debut single/album.
It’s been four years since New Zealand electropop rocker Ladyhawke released her debut album, and if anyone acts as a perfect example of the above dichotomy, it’s her. While her first album wasn’t shabby by any means, a continual barrage of press/record company hype promised listeners a whole new world of aural awesomeness, at which point the end result couldn’t help but fall short. And – yep – there were those people who wrote her off immediately as Emperor’s New Clothes posturing (kind of bizarre, really, as similar sounding artists like Bat For Lashes have had no trouble getting the critical acclaim they deserve).
Anyway – Ladyhawke is back, and with a new album (‘Anxiety’) that veers slightly away from her synth-based sound into new territory, taking on influences from the Pixies and Nirvana among others. It’s perfect listening for an early summer’s weekend – well, at least it would it be if it wasn’t out until Monday the 29th May …
… but fear not. The NME have got a stream of the whole thing happening right now. Head on over, give it a listen, and see what you think.