Ladyhawke "Back of the Van"

Ladyhawke "Back of the Van"
I know what you’re thinking: "Umm… what about that band from Vancouver? Y’know, the one always linked to Black Mountain?” (Well, that’s what you should be thinking…) And the only answers I have come from the obvious inspirations: the BC-based rockers likely took their name from the Marvel Comics character spun out of a Spider-Girl issue, and the blonde Aussie from the more obvious source: the 1985 Richard Donner film starring Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer. That oughtta clear up any talk of entitlement to a name that when spoken sounds the exact same.

With that out of the way, Ladyhawke is the work of a 26-year-old from Sydney named Pip Brown, who’s now based in London. Signed by the taste-filled heads at Modular (Cut Copy, Klaxons, the Avalanches), Ladyhawke brings yet another element to that label’s expansive roster of audio hedonism. Also part of the band Teenager (no, not the Teenagers or Teenanger) with Pete Mayes of Pnau (more on them tomorrow), Brown unites her retro influences (classic rock, ’80s dance, ’00s rehashing of everything in the past) to mould her own unique lovechild. "Back of the Van” is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard so far in 2008, evoking the spirit of Fleetwood Mac and spinning disco much better than that half-assed remix of "Dreams” by Deep Dish. Maybe even better than that is going so far as to say it’s as if Cut Copy invited themselves to become the new rhythm section for the Pretenders, as Brown shares as much vocal presence as Chrissie Hynde (who her vocal inflection is closer to) as she does her hero, Stevie Nicks. Either way, it’s smashing. Expect a debut album to drop some time on Modular/Universal this year.

Ladyhawke "Back of the Van”