Ladyhawke (musician)

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Ladyhawke
Evolution Festival 2009.jpg
Ladyhawke performing at the Evolution Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on 25 May 2009
Background information
Birth name Phillipa Brown
Also known as Pip Brown
Born (1979-07-13) 13 July 1979 (age 35)
Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand
Genres New wave, indie rock, synthpop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, keyboards, synthesiser
Years active 2001–present
Labels Modular, Island
Associated acts Two Lane Blacktop, Teenager, Pnau
Website www.ladyhawkemusic.com

Phillipa Margaret "Pip" Brown (born 13 July 1979), better known by her stage name Ladyhawke, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She took her stage name from Richard Donner's 1985 film Ladyhawke.

Brown was part of the Wellington-based band Two Lane Blacktop (2001–2003), named for the 1971 road film of the same name. After moving to Australia, she formed the Sydney-based art rock band Teenager in 2004 with Nick Littlemore of Pnau (and later Empire of the Sun). In 2007 she relocated to London.

Her debut album, Ladyhawke, was released on 22 September 2008 on Modular Recordings and topped the RIANZ Albums Chart. The singles "Paris Is Burning" and "My Delirium" became her best known songs. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2009, Ladyhawke won Breakthrough Artist in both album and single categories. Her second album Anxiety was released in May 2012.

Early life[edit]

Phillipa Margaret Brown was born on 13 July 1979 in Masterton, a town in the Wairarapa Region of New Zealand.[A] She came from a musical family, with her mother being a singer–guitarist and her stepfather, a jazz drummer. During her childhood, various illnesses and allergies kept her in and out of hospital. At age ten she contracted erysipeloid, a disease that is common in seagulls but had not been seen in humans in New Zealand for twenty years. Her allergies to antibiotics, penicillin and antihistamines greatly complicated treatment efforts and almost put her into a coma, and she came close to dying.[1]

Brown has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. She believes that the large amount of her childhood she spent absorbed in music, be it listening to the radio or to her mother's Beatles and Pretenders albums, was attributable to this syndrome.[1]

While attending Chanel College,[2] she played in several grunge bands. After high school, Brown moved from Masterton to Wellington.[3]

Recording career[edit]

Two Lane Blacktop[edit]

Main article: Two Lane Blacktop

In 2001 in Wellington, Brown formed the band Two Lane Blacktop with some friends, playing lead guitar. She described the group as being "like Iggy and The Stooges meets The Clash".[4][5] She cites her experience playing the notorious New York City club CBGB with Two Lane Blacktop as being a defining moment.[5] In 2003 Two Lane Blacktop disbanded when their lead singer, Matt Harrop, and drummer, Phil Smiley, both quit the band two days prior to a scheduled tour of Australia with Modey Lemon, after which they were due to play at SXSW in Austin, Texas.[5] Brown then made the impulsive decision to take her flight to Australia anyway, and she relocated to Melbourne.[5]

Teenager[edit]

Main article: Teenager (band)

Some time after Brown's move to Melbourne, Sydney-based musician Nick Littlemore of Pnau (he later formed Empire of the Sun) heard of her relocation and asked her if she was interested in joining an art rock band he had started called Teenager. Brown liked Littlemore's music and, in 2004, decided to join. Brown and Littlemore played together for two years, with Brown relocating to Sydney to be closer to the band, as well as other people she enjoyed playing and writing music with. Teenager's song "Pony" is featured in the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV.

Teenager issued their debut album, Thirteen, as well as the related singles "Pony" and "Bound and Gagged", in 2006. Mess + Noise's Craig Mathieson described the album as "a pop record, albeit a particularly exotic species that equally suggests creative guile and hints of self-indulgence ... 'Pony' is the closest the album comes to cheap genre holidaying, approximating rock attitude when the organic and desperate growth of 'Bound And Gagged' is so much more impressive".[6] Brown and Littlemore co-wrote "Alone Again" and "West" for Teenager.[7] Soon after the album's appearance Brown left to concentrate on her career as Ladyhawke, she later credited Littlemore:[8]

I was quite happy playing guitar [in Teenager], contributing my ideas and stepping back [...] [Littlemore] heard me singing a song, and rushed in and said, "What's that?" I was like, "It's just like, you know..." [...] I had a Myspace page, calling myself Ladyhawke with a couple of rough demos up there. Nick was like, "That's cool, you should really follow that up. You just need to get in a studio and record it". So we jumped in the car, and he drove me out to his parents' house, and we recorded that song ... that was the start for me, where he helped me get the confidence.

Solo career[edit]

Ladyhawke performing at the Rhythm & Vines festival 2008/2009

Ladyhawke (2008–2010)[edit]

Still close with Littlemore, Brown decided to leave Teenager to focus on a personal project she had been developing for some time, a persona she had dubbed Ladyhawke.[9] She named herself so after a character played by Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1985 film of the same name because she sees herself as "a sort of pop superwoman creating radio-friendly songs with a single bound".[1] Brown says she started Ladyhawke out of a desire to do her own project where she could completely express herself in any way she wanted. She says: "I wanted to make music that could put a smile on people's faces and give them a feeling of nostalgia even though they may be hearing my songs for the first time. I love how music evokes memories of a certain time, I wanted to see if I could find a method of songwriting that would evoke those feelings from me on writing the song and then on the individual when listening to it for the first time."[5]

Ladyhawke's eponymous debut album Ladyhawke was released on 22 September 2008 by Modular Recordings. The album topped the albums chart in New Zealand one year after its release, in October 2009,[10] and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand for sales in excess of 15,000 copies.[11] In both Australia and the United Kingdom, it reached number sixteen,[12][13] and was certified gold.[14][15] Its biggest hit single was "My Delirium", which charted inside the top ten in both New Zealand and Australia.[10][12]

Ladyhawke appeared for the first time in a Triple J Hottest 100 with two entries in the 2008 countdown; "My Delirium" at number eleven and "Paris Is Burning" at number twenty-six. Pnau's song "Embrace", which features Ladyhawke, was voted in at number twelve. Brown was nominated for an NME Award for Best Solo Artist.[16]

A limited 7-inch version of "Back of the Van"—each one hand painted by Sarah Larnach—was sold on eBay. All proceeds were given to the Parkinsons Society of New Zealand.[17]

In August 2009 it was announced that she would co-headline a North American tour with Ida Maria, starting 10 September in Atlanta and concluding 3 October in Los Angeles.[18] The tour was sponsored by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.[18]

Anxiety (2011–present)[edit]

In April 2011, Ladyhawke stated that she was preparing to release new material in the following months.[19] Her second album was initially scheduled for an October 2011 release,[20] but in September, a spokesperson stated that it was not due to be released until 2012.[21] It was later announced that the album was due for release in March 2012,[22][23] and that it would be titled Anxiety.[24] Anxiety's release date was later pushed back to May 2012.[25]

In an interview with Digital Spy, Ladyhawke said "I've made an album I'm really proud of, so I just can't wait to start playing with the band again, and touring and having some fun. I can't wait to get back into it."[26]

"Black White & Blue" was released as Anxiety's lead single on 24 January 2012. The single "Sunday Drive" followed in April, and the album itself was released in late May. In July 2012, a third single, "Blue Eyes", was released.

On 28 March 2013, via her Instagram, she announced she would return to the studio to record her third solo album.[27]

In February 2014, her song "Blue Eyes" was used in a series of Verizon commercials in the United States,[28] raising them to pop culture phenomena.[29]

Collaborations[edit]

Ladyhawke collaborated with Pnau on "Embrace" from the duo's 2007 self-titled album, one of their best-known songs.[30]

The Charlatans' Tim Burgess said in September 2010 that he is collaborating with Ladyhawke and members of The Horrors and Klaxons on his second solo album. "I've been working with Josh [Hayward], the guitarist from The Horrors and Stefan [Halperin], the drummer from the Klaxons and right now we can only do stuff when our other bands aren't doing things. But when we do get together, it's really explosive and it'll be well worth waiting for. I've also got Ladyhawke singing on it."[31][32] In December 2011, Burgess revealed that he had collaborated with Ladyhawke on a song entitled "Just One Kiss".[33]

In 2011, Ladyhawke collaborated with New Zealand singer Nik Brinkman, better known as Junica, on the single "Living in My House".[34] Also in 2011, she remixed American singer Alex Winston's song "Sister Wife".[35]

In 2014, Ladyhawke appeared on the Tiesto album A Town Called Paradise with a track called "Last Train"; Firebeatz also appeared on the track.

Influences and comparisons[edit]

Ladyhawke is noted as being influenced by 1980s music.[36][37][38] She has been linked to a wave of 1980s-influenced, individualistic, androgynous female musicians in their twenties who emerged in the late 2000s.[39]

Brown also draws inspiration from music of the '90s. "Listening to Nirvana takes me back to being fourteen at the school disco. Bands from the nineties have that effect on me."[40]

Peaches, to whom Ladyhawke's music has been compared, remixed the single "Paris Is Burning",[37] and the two have performed together, with Peaches taking DJ duties.[41] Ladyhawke's music has also been likened to that of Cyndi Lauper,[36] Pat Benatar, Kim Wilde, Annie and New Young Pony Club.[37]

Brown has stated that her five favourite albums of all time are Hunky Dory (1971) by David Bowie, Time (1981) by ELO and three Fleetwood Mac albums: Fleetwood Mac (it is unclear whether she was referring to the 1968 album or the 1975 album), Rumours (1977), and Tango in the Night (1987).[42]

Other pursuits[edit]

Ladyhawke playing live at the Rhythm & Vines festival 2008/2009

Ladyhawke appeared as herself in the third episode of the British ITV2 sitcom FM, originally aired 11 March 2009.[43] Also in 2009, Ladyhawke designed Music Inspired Art labels for limited edition bottles of Beck's. Labels were illustrated by Sydney-based artist Sarah Larnach, who lived with Ladyhawke back when she was first getting started on her music career.[44][45]

Personal life[edit]

Brown dresses in men's and boys' clothing.[46] She is a fan of video games, describing herself as "a big, big gamer".[47]

Brown has a contralto vocal range.[48]

Discography[edit]

Main article: Ladyhawke discography

Awards[edit]

New Zealand Music Awards
Year Nominated work Award Result
2009[49] Ladyhawke Album of the Year Won
Best Dance/Electronica Album Won
"My Delirium" Single of the Year Won
Herself Best Female Solo Artist Won
Breakthrough Artist of the Year Won
International Achievement Award Won
People's Choice Award Nominated
2012
Herself Best Female Solo Artist Nominated
Anxiety Best Alternative Album Nominated
ARIA Music Awards
Year Nominated work Award Result
2009[50] Ladyhawke Breakthrough Artist – Album Won
Best Pop Release Nominated
Best Cover Art Nominated
"My Delirium" Single of the Year Nominated
Breakthrough Artist – Single Won
Herself Best Female Solo Artist Nominated
Brit Awards
Year Nominated work Award Result
2010[51] Herself International Female Solo Artist Nominated
NME Awards
Year Nominated work Award Result
2009[52] Herself Best Solo Artist Nominated
MTV Australia Awards
Year Nominated work Award Result
2009[53] Herself Best Kiwi Nominated
Independent Spirit Nominated

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For full name including stage name see American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers search result for works written by Brown Phillipa Margaret.[7]
    • For birthday as 13 July see tweet by Ladyhawke and information on tour dates.[54][55]
    • For diminutive, see Hall.[56]
    • For Masterton as origin, see Bennett or Sunday Star Times.[3][57][58]
    • For birth in July 1979 see Bennett.[57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lester, Paul (11 September 2008). "Asperger's, allergies and aubergines". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2008. 
  2. ^ Morton, Jamie (28 September 2009). "Ladyhawke coming home for holiday". Wairarapa Times Age. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Ladyhawke, the girl from Masterton". Sunday Star Times. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Carpenter, Ellen (19 January 2009). "Ladyhawke: The Ingenue". Spin. Spin Media LLC. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Ladyhawke (February 2008). "BIO – or Life Story Take yer pick". ladyhawkemusic.com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. 
  6. ^ Mathieson, Craig (2006). "Teenager – Thirteen in Releases". Mess+Noise (Sound Alliance). Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Works Written by Brown Phillipa Margaret". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved 8 April 2012.  Note: For more information click on each song's title.
  8. ^ "Gig Info – Ladyhawke". Gigs in Scotland (DF Concerts Ltd). March 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Ayers, Michael D. (24 March 2009). "Interview: Ladyhawke On New Zealand, Gay Pride Parades in Paris". The Village Voice. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Top 40 Albums – Chart No. 1702". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Discography Ladyhawke". Australian Recording Industry Association. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "BPI Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Ladyhawke scores NME award nomination". Stuff.co.nz. 27 February 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  17. ^ Leanne (22 May 2009). "Ladyhawke Raising Money for New Zealand Parkinsons Society". Glasswerk National. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 
  18. ^ a b "Ladyhawke plots co-headlining US tour with Ida Maria". NME. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  19. ^ Copsey, Robert (14 April 2011). "Ladyhawke teases new single details". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  20. ^ "Ladyhawke plans new album for October release". Muzic Magazine. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Chipping, Tim (8 September 2011). "People with Ladyhawke tattoos". Holy Moly. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  22. ^ "Ladyhawke Returns!". Xfm. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "Ladyhawke to play London's 100 club". Music-News.com. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  24. ^ "Watch behind the scenes clip of Ladyhawke making new album 'Anxiety' – video". NME. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  25. ^ "Ladyhawke interview: 'I love LMFAO'". Digital Spy. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "Ladyhawke unveils new album 'Anxiety' tracklisting". Digital Spy. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  27. ^ http://instagram.com/p/Xa6vf6KpWi/
  28. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5fWDYub5jo
  29. ^ http://www.popisms.com/TelevisionCommercial/92824/Verizon-Wireless-Commercial-2014.aspx
  30. ^ Pnau (CD album liner notes). Etcetc. October 2007.
  31. ^ "The Charlatans' Tim Burgess working with The Horrors, Ladyhawke and Klaxons on new solo album". NME. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  32. ^ "Tim Burgess' 'explosive' supergroup". Female First. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  33. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (28 December 2011). "Tim Burgess And Ladyhawke Collaborate On 'Just One Kiss'". DIY. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  34. ^ Boodhun, Steven (23 June 2011). "Review: Junica Featuring Ladyhawke- 'Living In My House'". TMM. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  35. ^ Chipping, Tim (13 May 2011). "Ladyhawke Does Some Music – About Bloody Time". Holy Moly. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  36. ^ a b "Hype Monitor: Ladyhawke, Tanya Morgan and Black Ghosts". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. 19 June 2008. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2008. 
  37. ^ a b c Lester, Paul (9 June 2008). "New band of the day – No 329: Ladyhawke". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2008. 
  38. ^ Cairns, Dan (29 June 2008). "Breaking act: Ladyhawke". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 4 July 2008. 
  39. ^ Day, Elizabeth (19 April 2009). "Pop's new wave: quirky, stylish girls fashioned from the 80s". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  40. ^ Atkinson, Kate (March 2009). "Total Request". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  41. ^ Cooper, Leonie (13 June 2008). "First sight: Ladyhawke". The Guardian: 12. 
  42. ^ http://www.repeatfanzine.co.uk/Reviews/lady%20hawke.htm
  43. ^ "FM". ITV. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  44. ^ Sevilla, Cate (29 September 2009). "LadyHawke's Music Inspired Art Labels for Becks". BitchBuzz. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  45. ^ Love, Emma (31 August 2009). "A new generation of pop artists". The Independent. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  46. ^ "Ladyhawke feels a fraud". MyPark Magazine. BANG Media International. 8 March 2009. Archived from the original on 24 May 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  47. ^ Diu, Nisha Lilia (27 February 2009). "Ladyhawke: flying high". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  48. ^ http://www.elle.com/news/culture/ladyhawke-on-her-sophomore-album-style-stage-fright-38202
  49. ^ Kara, Scott (8 October 2009). "Honours of night go to Ladyhawke". The New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  50. ^ "2009 ARIA Awards details announced". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  51. ^ "Brit Awards nominations 2010: full list". The Daily Telegraph. 18 January 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  52. ^ "Oasis, Alex Turner, Killers: Shockwaves NME Awards 2009 nominations". NME. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  53. ^ "List of nominees for the 2009 MTV Awards". The Age. Fairfax Media. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  54. ^ Moses, Hussein (11 April 2012). "Ladyhawke NZ Tour Dates". The Corner. Retrieved 11 April 2012. "Ladyhawke has announced that she will play two New Zealand dates this July in support of her forthcoming album Anxiety. Friday, 13 July 2012 – San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington (R18) Saturday, 14 July 2012 – The Studio, Auckland (R18)" 
  55. ^ Ladyhawke (10 April 2012). "Also just announced some d ...". Twitter. Retrieved 11 April 2012. "Also just announced some dates for a Kiwi/Aussie tour! The wellington show is on my birthday!" 
  56. ^ Hall, Tom (8 April 2009). "Ladyhawke: French class". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 July 2009. 
  57. ^ a b Bennett, Cath (14 October 2009). "Ladyhawke soars high". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 13 April 2010. "In July, Ladyhawke celebrated her 30th birthday..." 
  58. ^ "Who is Ladyhawke?". The New Zealand Herald. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 

External links[edit]