“People wonder why there’s always a massive gap between my albums,” says Pip Brown, better known as Ladyhawke, the one-woman synth-pop act from New Zealand. The reason is both complicated and easy. The simple explanation: “I’ve never released anything I’m not proud of. That’s important to me. I don’t want to release anything that I have a weird feeling about.”
Those instincts have served Brown well, starting with her self-titled debut in 2008, which peaked at No. 16 on the U.K. album charts and No. 1 in Australia and New Zealand’s album charts. It won Australia’s ARIA music awards for Best Breakthrough album and Best Breakthrough Single. Brown also took home six New Zealand music awards and was nominated for The Brits’ much coveted Best International Artist.
By the time she recorded her follow-up, the aptly titled Anxiety, she felt she had much to prove. “My producer Pascal Gabriel and I made the record in France, and it was a beautiful experience. But it was also very tiring and taxing, because I felt creatively drained. The second album was a hard album to make but I was incredibly proud of it.” Making Wild Things was, in contrast, like therapy. “Tommy was good at pushing me,” she says. “I need a push.”
And in many ways, Wild Things is less about past demons and more a catalyst of what’s to come. “This album has given me a sense of purpose. Even if it took me months or years to get that purpose, as soon as I finished that record it was like an unbelievable weight was lifted off my shoulders,” she says. You can hear that freedom in Wild Things’ unabashed exuberance, a powerful, vibrant expression of life itself. “Everything I wrote was all the stuff I was going through. I got it out of my system, exorcised it from my soul.”