Ladyhawke is the Artist of the Week on BTR


Just last week this New Zealander released her newest song, “My Delirium,” in the UK, but before releasing one hit album and five singles in her first year, Ladyhawke (Pip Brown) traveled a long and strange road to take her rightful place in indie stardom.

Phillipa Brown, or ‘Pip’ as some know her, was born with Asperger’s Syndrome, a physiological abnormality, characterized often by an incredible attention to detail. What could be viewed in a social context as a disability, can actually enhance one’s ability in more appropriate areas, for example, creating music. However, it isn’t merely her genetic makeup that has gifted her with such talent. Much of her lifetime was spent surrounded by important influences. Her mother was a singer and her step-father was a drummer. His performance for Brown’s class turned her attention to the drums as early as age eleven. “The louder, the better as far as I was concerned,” she once wrote.

With that her musician’s mind began tending toward the pounding genres of punk, and ultimately dance. High school allowed her to explore the common garage-band beginnings of many indie groups, but it wasn’t until she moved to Wellington in South Australia that she took part in the group Two Lane Blacktop, named after the 1971 cult-classic starring a drag-racing James Taylor (yes, that one). Many say Brown strongly resembles one of the main characters played by Laurie Bird. The group with the seventies-punk sound recorded three EPs and one album, ultimately disbanding, leading Brown to travel to Melbourne with no money. Luckily she found her friend Nick Littlemore, who asked her to play lead guitar for his new project called Teenager (for which she is still listed as a contributing member). But what was it exactly that made Brown go from Bird to Hawke?

She found the collaborative process constricting and wanted to create her own sound, the one we hear today. “I wanted to make music that could… give them a feeling of nostalgia,” she explained. Her current persona, Ladyhawke, does just that, drawing heavy influence from eighties synth-pop but not without maintaining a modern intensity, thanks to the incredible company she keeps. Her music has been officially remixed by Mock and Toof (mislabeled on her website as Mock and Tooth), Peaches, Van She and others. The attention she’s garnered, the fans she’s gathered and the risks she’s taken for her art require at least a listen from curious ears. Be sure to check BreakThru Radio for every track from her ever-pleasing self-titled album.


Dec 14 2008 at Nevereverland @ Meyer Music Bowl in Melbourne, Australia
Dec 19 2008 at Rocket Bar in Adelaide, South Australia
Dec 20 2008 at Nevereverland @ Brisbane Riverstage in Brisbane, Australia
Dec 21 2008 at Nevereverland @ Members Equity Stadium in Perth, Australia
Dec 30 2008 at Rhythm and Vines Festival in Gisborne, Australia
Dec 31 2008 at Pyramid Festival in Melbourne, Australia
Jan 1 2009 at Hot BBQ Festival, Birrarung Marr in Melbourne, Australia
Feb 25 2009 w/ Ting Tings @ Academy in Glasgow, Scotland
Feb 26 2009 w/ Ting Tings @ Apollo in Manchester, UK
Mar 1 2009 w/ Ting Tings @ Academy in Leeds, UK
Mar 2 2009 w/ Ting Tings @ Civic Hall in Wolverhampton, UK
Mar 3 2009 w/ Ting Tings @ Guildhall in Portsmouth, UK
Mar 5 2009 w/ Ting Tings @ Oasis Centre in Swindon, UK
Mar 6 2009 w/ Ting Tings @ Brixton Academy in London, UK

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– Ike Stonberg


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