28 October 2018

The first photo with the entire band in 7 years

Ladytron will play a small UK tour (Glasgow, Liverpool, London) starting on 2 November.

20 October 2018

Helen Marnie's all-time favourite female voices

Helen Marnie shares a playlist of her all-time favourite female voices

When I think about the music, in particular the voices, which have touched me in some way, I would say around 80% or more are woman. Perhaps it's that I can just relate to the way a woman can use her voice, the way it gels with my brain, or maybe it's that I feel how she feels. That I have, at some point, endured something she has, and that's why the voice reaches out to me and triggers receptors and makes me emotionally involved.

So, for this playlist, I wanted to share some of the female voices that have inspired me, from my youth through to what makes my ears tingle now. The vocals I'm drawn to aren't necessarily technically brilliant. In fact, usually the opposite. All those power vocals make me yawn. It's more the tone I'm interested in, or how technology is used to affect the voice. On Familiar, Agnes Obel takes her own voice down a register or two to create what sounds like a male voice dueting with her. The result is pretty awesome. Two of the artists I've chosen sing in both French and English, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Free Love. That is just a win-win in my book.

-Helen Marnie

Sneaker Pimps - 6 Underground
Tori Amos - The Waitress
Broadcast - Come On Let's Go
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Massive Attack - Teardrop
Stevie Nicks - Edge of Seventeen
Nina Simone - Mood Indigo
Heart - Dreamboat Annie
Joni Mitchell - Marcie
Randy Crawford - Street Life
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Lying With You
Agnes Nobel - Familiar
Anna Calvi - Hunter
Nightwave & Rye Rye - Awesome
Patience - The Church
HQFU - Dust & Dirt
Free Love - Pushing Too Hard


10 October 2018

Ladytron's new album is self-titled

Ladytron announced more details about their long awaited 6th studio album. It will be called Ladytron and it will be released on 15 February 2019 on !7K.

Track listing:
1. Until the Fire
2. The Island
3. Tower of Glass
4. Far From Home
5. Paper Highways
6. The Animals
7. Run
8. Deadzone
9. Figurine
10. You've Changed
11. Horrorscope
12. The Mountain
13. Tomorrow Is Another Day

06 September 2018

ClashMusic interview (2018)

For a while there it looked as though we had lost Ladytron.

The much-loved group covered Noughties digital pop in swathes of black, a stylish, artful project that merged terrific songwriting with a slew of fresh innovation.

Largely silent for seven years, Ladytron recently began to stir. Work on a new album is progressing, with the band recently sharing new single 'The Island'.

A brooding, dystopian return, its taut paranoia and synthetic feel is perfect for these unreal times, and comes equipped with a magnificent short film.

Shot by Bryan M. Ferguson in and around Glasgow, it opens with the birth of a humanoid, The Experiment, and we follow its troubled, threatened existence.

An intense yet beautifully shot clip, it's a sign that Ladytron don't just want to match past glories - they want to surpass them.

Watch the video below, then check out a full Q&A with Ladytron after the jump.

Ladytron have been away for so long, how do you go about assessing what the group means, and how it should sound in 2017?

Daniel: It was really quite basic. We decided in July 2016 to begin making a new album. five years from the last one's release. A few years later than we had expected. We began working on material and during that first phase it actually felt easier to be making a record after this amount of time, separate from chronology, or live shows or anything else. Then there's obviously certain things that strike you during the creative process - the world has changed tremendously in seven years, so have we.

But I can't say that we gave any conscious consideration to external factors in terms of how it should sound. We never do.

'The Island' recalls those stellar early singles, did you want to hone in on that electronic pop sound?

Helen: I think it was more a case of remembering where we came from, our strengths, and nodding to that time whilst also wanting to move our sound forward and develop as a band.

Daniel: To me it doesn't sound like the early days per se, as all of our albums had this sonic thread, but what is evident on the Island is that we approached this record with a blanker canvas than we have had for a long time. We were more free.

Recording sessions took place in the south of England, was this a productive time for the group? How was it to write another chapter for Ladytron?

Daniel: We were recording in the countryside near Cambridge, I've worked there before, but not for this amount of time. Staying out of the city was productive but it was a relief to return to dirt and chaos as a reward when it was wrapped.

'The Island' feels tied in to the current climate, to the general sense of disquiet many of us feel right now. Was this a personal song? Did any specific events – political, societal – spur its writing?

Helen: Yes, it is a personal song. It was triggered by an event in my own life, but equally it's broader than that trigger. I guess it's a cry for help, a call out to like minded people who are passionate about our world and where it's heading.

Bryan M. Ferguson is the perfect choice of director, were you fans of his work? Was there a lot of communication before the shoot?

Helen: A designer friend of mine actually gave me a link to Bryan's films, and i binge watched them immediately, falling in love with his sublime weirdness and heavy use of colour. I reached out to him hoping he'd be interested in making us something, and thankfully he was into the idea. His treatment gelled so well with the music and lyrics, i knew we were in good hands.

Glasgow is an odd but entirely successful base for this blast of sci-fi dystopia – was it always your intention to shoot there? Was the city's geography – or even weather! - an influence on the feel of the song?

Helen: That's weird, because i feel like Glasgow is the perfect base for a dystopian world. Bryan is based up here, as am i, so it was natural to film here. The shoot actually took place over the three hottest days this summer, so Glasgow and the outskirts are looking beautiful bathed in sunlight in the film. I think the sunny weather makes the visual even more creepy.

Daniel: For me, Bryan's film shows this banality of evil. That is amplified by the setting for those of whom it is familiar. If such a ghastly project existed now, in the UK, it would be managed by these kind of bored, dead-eyed, Serco employees. When I see something described as a dystopian future, it always strikes me that only those living in a very tiny bubble of privilege on this planet do not sense that we are already there.

There's a certain nihilism to the clip, do you feel this is balanced out by some lingering hope? What should we take away from such a potent visual message?

Daniel: It is heavy. I cried the first time I saw it. But it should be a reckoning. That in itself is hopeful.

How inter-connected are the themes on the new Ladytron album? Does 'The Island' act as a microcosm, or an outlier for the music you've created?

Helen: There are some definite themes that weave through, but it wasn't conceived like this. Only on listening back to the record, now that it is complete, did those themes become apparent. The Island is an emblem for the record, like singles always should be.


19 August 2018

Paper Mag interview (2018)

The second single teasing Ladytron's next album — the legendary Liverpool electronic act's first after a 7-year hiatus, slated for release in the first quarter of next year — debuts exclusively on PAPER today. Delivered in familiar Ladytron fashion, "The Island" feels like a nod to longtime fans who've been awaiting the group's return for so many years.

But like "The Animals," released in March, there's some subtle expansion of sound on this one. In fact, expansion is quite literal a description — vocalist and songwriter Helen Marnie tells us "The Island" intentionally affords space for crescendoing emotional effect.

The subject matter behind it certainly calls for it. In an interview with PAPER, Marnie explained how the song is both grim and hopeful — in part, a reflection of the push-and-pull of today's political and social climate.

What were you thinking in terms of sonic influences for the single?

We've been away for so long; it's been like seven years or eight years. [So] I wanted to write something that wouldn't scare people away, but also leaned on what Ladytron was good at and how we were before, but maybe introducing something a little bit different. I think "The Island" harks back to earlier Ladytron when we first started, right about 2002, 2003. I wanted it to be a bit more pop, but not pop in that cheesy sense of the word. That's why we've got high synths, arpeggiated synths, and things like that.

It's nice to hear something familiar, as someone who's been a fan for so long, but to hear hints of something new, too. It's not a huge departure, though.

No, I think that with "The Island" there's quite a bit of space, sonically. Whereas our last album I find a bit fuller. I think [the space can] build emotion.

Speaking of emotions, can you tell me more about the message? You referenced the disquiet that we all feel in a statement for this track. Can you elaborate on that?

If you read into the lyrics literally it's quite dark, I would say — quite bleak. But that's not really what I wanted to convey; that's not really how it is. It is a comment on all the social things that are going on right now, but I wanted to create a sense of disorientation, and maybe claustrophobia, which I think a lot of people are feeling right now. I think the lyrics are like juxtapositions. There's a lot of different things sitting together, but they're not necessarily agreeing with each other. I think everyone is feeling that disorientation and confusion. No one really knows what it is these days, and it's really hard to get the truth.

When you're talking about hitting the ground here, it feels very rock bottom. The lyrics mention sirens of the apocalypse.

Yeah, it's very much like that. Hopefully the only way we can go is up. It's just very trying times. But, you know, that's how things go. They go in cycles. Things do need to hit rock bottom in order for there to be resistance. I think that's basically the influence. Personally, it is personal as well, the lyrics. It's not just a social commentary. It's about me. But I don't really want to go into that.

I respect that. Can I ask, though, if it's personal for you specifically or is it in relation to the whole band?

Personal for me.

Okay. I wondered about the title, if the idea of the island itself is a metaphor.

Yes it is. [Laughs] I live in Scotland, so there's been a lot of things that have been happening here. I think that for the people that live in Scotland, we feel like we don't really have a say in situations. The UK is feeling quite small for me right now, and Scotland is obviously a part of the UK, but we're our own country, so I think it's also quite hard for us to accept certain things that are happening. So that's my reference to the island: We are this small place, and we don't really have a say sometimes. But equally, that's a bit political, and I don't want to go too political.

I can sense that you don't want to get too specific about politics. I respect that, but I do wonder where this is coming from...

Yeah, I think it's just unrest, really. And knowing that no matter how you act, how you vote, laws you pass, in the overall bigger picture, for Scotland it doesn't really make a difference to the outcome. That's the island. That's what I'm talking about. Just being this insular society that has a lot of control but is equally becoming more and more insular and small-minded.

Is there anything you'd like to mention about the forthcoming album?

Yeah. It's finished. It's being mastered now. We spent some time down in Southeast England recording it for about a month or so. I'm happy with how it's turned out. It took a while to get things right, but I think it's a good mix of Ladytron. I hope people will appreciate it. It's just exciting to finally have made it.

I'm definitely excited to hear it.

It's hard to know how people will react. But I like it. So that's all that matters. [Laughs]


16 August 2018

New single: "The Island"

Ladytron premiered a new song from their upcoming album. Here's "The Island":