Having cut her teeth playing in Wellington band Two Lane Blacktop, and Sydney act Teenager, Pip Brown’s incredible knack for a catchy pop hook coupled with an 80s rock chic ambiance was quickly noticed when she began releasing tracks online as Ladyhawke in 2008. She was signed to a major label, moved to the UK, and her eponymous solo debut album made her hot property across the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
She toured relentlessly, and picked up multiple NZ Music Awards, ARIAs, and nominations for Brit Awards, MTV Awards, and NME Awards. Pip’s songwriting connected because it managed to be both aspirational and relatable. She seemed effortlessly cool and distinctive but also just like a best mate, and while her music and art beautifully conjure a bold and fantastical world, they also capture her genuine, personable nature.
The darker, more guitar-based record ‘Anxiety’ followed in 2012, before the bright and breezy pop of ‘Wild Things’ arrived in 2016 – each album a kind of reaction to the one that came before.
“I always felt like I was overthinking it, and there was too much pressure, and I wasn’t in a good headspace, and thinking about what other people wanted too much, and then rebelling against that. Like with ‘Anxiety’ I didn’t want to make another pop record, I felt burned by the industry and was angry, and hated the pop world. And then with ‘Wild Things’, I was on this ridiculous kind of ‘I’ve stopped drinking and gotten sober and think I’m invincible’ thing, so I wanted to make this California-sounding, overly happy album. ”
The ten-year anniversary of her debut album, which lead to a vinyl re-release in 2019, fed into the sense of nostalgia and reflection which Pip was exploring while working on the new album.
Another element that has been present throughout Pip’s career is the wonderful creative friendships she has cultivated. Early on she formed strong bonds with fellow Sydney artists like Nick Littlemore (Teenager, PNAU, Empire of the Sun), Jono Sloane (also PNAU, Empire of the Sun), as well as London based punk musician Pascal Gabriel (who’s worked with Dido, Kylie Minogue, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor among others).
And then later she began working with LA songwriter and producer Tommy English (Carly Rae Jepsen, Kacey Musgraves, Adam Lambert, Broods etc), as well as more recently with fellow Kiwis like Jeremy Toy (Leonard Charles, She’s So Rad), and just last year she began working with Josh Fountain (Leisure, Benee). The pandemic may have made it more challenging to collaborate, but Pip enjoyed the new ways of working via Zoom.