By Amanda Mills
After releasing her award winning debut album in 2008, Ladyhawke returns with ‘Anxiety’. Second albums are often created under a huge weight of expectation, and this is clearly no exception, especially in the UK, where Ladyhawke (Pip Brown) is well enough known to sell out shows in five minutes. Guitar-driven, and sonically dirtier than her eponymous debut, ‘Anxiety’ is way darker. Where there were big ’80s synths on ‘Ladyhawke’, here there’s a sense of ’60s garage rock with the distorted, fuzzy guitar and melodic bass on Girl Like Me; power chords on the gorgeous, downbeat Black & White & Blue, and the rhythm heavy Quick and the Dead. There are plenty of differences between the pop ‘Ladyhawke’ and the rockier ‘Anxiety’, but one thing both albums have in common are huge choruses: Black & White & Blue, Vaccine, and Vanity are only a few that will stick around in your head, as will the epic Cellophane. It’s not all perfect – ‘Anxiety’ has less of the effervescence that she showed first time around, and some of her vocals sound disengaged, as on the title track. Recorded with repeat collaborator Pascal Gabriel in Paris, this is an interesting, slightly unsettling, pop-rock album. I love it.