Ladyhawke, aka Pip Brown, was all smiles onstage at New York’s Bowery Ballroom as she kicked off her fall North American tour. Opening her show with “Back Of The Van” from her 2008 self-titled debut, the New Zealand native started her healthy jaunt around the U.S. and Canada. Local girl Computer Magic’s hard work has paid off: Ladyhawke is taking the Brooklyn synth-pop act along for seven dates of the North American tour.
Thanking the crowd for braving the inclement weather (there had been a tornado warning), Brown and her shaggy-haired backing band performed a robust set highlighting recently released sophomore LP Anxiety. Her brand of outsider pop has gotten even more personal, and she remains relatable while maintaining just the right amount of distance. Anxiety’s title track describes what it says on the tin, a disarmingly honest look at escaping from unease. Her sound has also become bigger, showcased on songs like “Blue Eyes,” with its bright bursts of synths. Brown and her band are more than capable of delivering on the bold guitars and crisp beats that help define her sound. She may have gone four years between releasing records, but Anxiety is a strong enough effort to have been worth the wait.
The audience was perhaps more enthusiastic than anticipated, considering that people weren’t quite in a rush and the room didn’t really start to fill up until just before Ladyhawke’s set. Still, there was dancing to be done, with more than enough people ready to oblige the demands of Saturday night. By the time Brown kicked off her encore with a cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and ended it with “Delirium,” energy levels were running at full force.
“You’re an amazing songwriter!” one audience member shouted. No one was going to contest that.