Ladyhawke – Time Flies: 13th Floor Album Review

Ladyhawke fourth album Time Flies takes its place over the surreal times of contagion, and closer to home is prefaced by a major health crisis and the birth of a daughter. The music is sophisticated Pop full of hooks and joyful energy. It is also light on its feet and swings.

Phillipa Brown started her musical journey twenty years ago in Wellington. A Rock’n’Roll band Two Lane Blacktop, channeling the Stooges and the Clash. Reaching a peak on the stage of New York City’s legendary CBGB nightclub. The only remnants of that on this album may be Rock the Casbah.

My Love. I‘d rather be heard than be ignored/ Waiting for my love. A smooth Soul-Pop blend. The bass is dominant and leads in the best tradition of Bernard Edwards and Chic. The voice is light and buoyant.

Think About You continues in the same vein and with the anchoring of the sinuous bass, the song is an effervescent mix of Pop and a harder-edged Disco.

Time Flies starts with a riff hook from the bass which resembles Womack and Womack’s APB and therefore reaches all the way back to I Heard It Through the Grapevine. The production leaves lots of space and many little hooks abound. Late Sixties Psychedelic Pop with a little bit o’ Soul.

Guilty Love includes Georgia Nott from the BROODS, who also co-wrote. Marshall drum beats lead to Techno Dance rhythms of New Order. There are echoes of the early Madonna. The production achieves a depth that sounds big and cavernous without unnecessary clutter.

LadyhawkeTake It Easy Mama. Baby’s got enough but she’s wanting more. A gem of tune. Minimalist production, and a blend of Pop and R’n’B which has sizzle and charm. The rhythm section gives it backbone.

Loner and the voice goes high and sweet. A Girl Group sound similar to the Dixie Cups when they sang Chapel of Love. That is, without the sweat of pheromones.

Adam finishes that deconstruction to its basic elements and ends up curiously sounding like the Smiths at their most tuneful. I’ll never make it on my own/ Adam, won’t you carry me back home.

Walk Away may be the most recognisable as classic Disco. Again, it comes from the engine room of bass, drums and electronic effects matched with the honey-trap of the singer. Owes a little debt to the Euro-Disco of Giorgio Moroder.

Love is Blind. With this and Reactor the Pop singer seems to lift off into the clouds. Light and expansive and carried by those compulsive hooks.  Fighting in an endless war/ You don’t really get it.

A relentlessly buoyant and charming Pop album. Which in these strange Plague times sound like a heroic act of affirmation.

Rev Orange Peel