For the past three years Pip Brown (aka Ladyhawke) has been lying relatively low on the musical radar. And as she makes her big comeback – second album Anxiety, a headline tour and a couple of massive festival dates up her sleeve – she can’t shake the feeling we might not remember her.
‘I was thinking, “it’s been so long, people may sort of have forgotten who I was”.’ However, with sold-out shows around the world and the album climbing up the iTunes charts, it’s clear it’s all worry for nought. We remember Ladyhawke, and so does everyone else.
But is Pip Brown still the same cool indie popette we remember? Well, some things are the same. For starters, she’s still got those heavily lined eyes, her untamed blonde hair and that grungy dress sense. She’s also with the same touring band, the same producer (Pascal Gabriel), and she still keeps longtime collaborator and artist friend Sarah Larnach by her side. ‘I wouldn’t be here without her. She brings like a visual aspect to who I am. She views me differently to how anyone else views me.’
As for the music, Anxiety switches dancefloor beats for something a little rockier. On the new disc, Pip wears her influences on her sleeve with Bowie-esque second single ‘Sunday Drive’, complete with thumping pianos and big percussion. However, Anxiety also shows other sides to Ms Hawke, with ballads (‘Cellophane’) appearing alongside more familiar pop territory such as ‘Blue Eyes’.
But this aptly titled second album also comes loaded with three years of anticipation – and we all know how tough the critics can be when they’ve been left waiting. ‘I’m really excited that it’s out now, but it’s still pretty scary. There is always that big question mark over it. And it all just adds to the nerves.’
Another change for Pip – as for the whole world – has been the way she keeps in contact with her fans. Far from her humble Myspace (myspace.com/ladyhawkerock) days posting the rough demos that sparked her solo career, Ladyhawke is now digitally present in every sort of channel – Twitter (twiiter.com/ladyhawkeforyou), Facebook (facebook.com/ladyhawke) and even her own snazzy app, complete with Instagram integration, album streaming and tour listings. ‘It’s actually really useful for me, I never know my tour dates.’
Yet, for all her savviness with modern technology, Pip opts for something a little more old-fashioned when we ask – rather randomly, we admit – what animal she’d be if she hadn’t chosen a hawk. ‘I reckon I’d like to be a pterodactyl – a total bad ass flying creature... And scare people.’ Then she stops to think. ‘Not that I want to scare people at all – I think I’d probably be a nice pterodactyl.’