Electropop quartet Ladytron has been a staple of my show since the very beginning, even before The Eleventh Hour existed as it does now. When I heard the announcement that the band would be releasing a new album, their first in eight years, it goes without saying that I was beyond excited! Fans received a small taste of the album last summer, with the release of singles “The Island” and “The Animals”, released alongside a remix of the latter track by synthpop royalty Vince Clarke (of Depeche Mode and Yazoo fame). This was just a hint at what was to come several months later, but I knew that we were in for something truly special. The passage of time between releases hasn’t hindered the band at all, returning with all guns blazing in their eponymous and sixth studio album.
The album is driving from the start, the opener “Until the Fire” building layer upon layer of sound until the listener is barraged with waves of analog synths. Don’t let the driving beats deceive you. There is a real darkness lying underneath in the lyrics. One of the beauties of this album is that it is paradoxical, in and of itself. It is desolate, yet hopeful, proclaiming, “we are sirens of the apocalypse”. It paints a futuristic picture, but couldn’t more at home in the present. There are also tinges of nostalgia for the familiarity of home and for what has been in the track “Far from Home”.
Helene Marnie and Mira Aroyo’s vocals are haunting, the melodies twisting in unexpected and almost unsettling ways. One of the best examples of this is the dance floor-ready powerhouse “You’ve Changed”, the intro crescendoing steadily into a ripping sawtooth synth line. Marnie is relentless in her vocals, challenging, “Come take me on, you’ll lose. It’s your happiness, but what’s real? I’ll make you sorry, oh yeah!” The album puts you in a state of fervor and doesn’t let go, never wavering in its intensity. The following track “Horrorscope” is no exception. It remains true to its title in that its unnerving with a discordant vocal among the cacophony of synths and hazy guitar. This discord breaks into an ethereal calm, ending with the poignant “Tomorrow Is Another Day”. The lyrics are lamenting of the past, but again optimistic, ending with the title line “tomorrow is another day”. And what a powerful end to an album. I found this album resonating with me profoundly in a way that I can’t entirely explain. Perhaps it’s that this album couldn’t be more appropriate for the times. But what I do know is that without a doubt, this is one of my most favorite releases of the year so far and was well worth the wait!
Favorite Tracks: “The Island”, “Deadzone”, “You’ve Changed”
To keep up with the band, you can visit Bandcamp as well as on social media: