The following was written during an internship with the podcast department at Mushroom Group where I wrote a series of articles about each episode of Some of My Best Work. Due to a website redesign none were published. These were left unedited.
Pip Brown is a New Zealand musician who performs as Ladyhawke.
She says Magic is some of her best work.
It appeared on her eponymous debut album Ladyhawke, released in 2008.
Before she became Ladyhawke, Pip played guitar in New Zealand’s Two Lane Blacktop.
But when the band broke up, she moved to Sydney and began collaborating with Nick Littlemore.
Together they released music as Teenager, solidifying her connection to Australia.
“When I started in Teenager with Nick I knew I had to move to Sydney so we could write more songs together. So I really started my songwriting career in Australia”, she said.
After one Teenager album, Pip began working on her solo project which she dubbed Ladyhawke.
Moving from Sydney to London to write, she began to feel lost and unsure of herself.
It was during this period she met producer Pascal Gabriel who helped give her the confidence.
“There was some space that opened up and I felt a bit like I can breathe a bit. It’s just me and Pascal, and we know each other, we can have some fun with this, and that’s the point where I wrote Magic.”
Magic was one of the last songs written for the album at the end of 2007.
“It was really pushing it. I already had enough tracks on the album, but I really felt like there was more.”
The song has a heavy 80s vibe and lyrics about navigating a relationship while living far away.
But new relationships weren’t the only drama, as Pip found her experience recording the album tough.
“It was like a mental roller coaster, going through that personal stuff, trying to write an album, and trying to navigate a music industry where I knew nothing. All those factors contributed to the record, and especially Magic.”
Magic set a blueprint for writing songs which she still uses today, messing around with sounds and adding lyrics last.
“I think that’s also why that song is so important for me, because it was a big realisation for me as far as songwriting goes.”
Following the release of her album, Pip toured New Zealand and met her future wife, comedian Madeleine Sami.
Being able to express her sexuality now is something Pip notes wasn’t possible back in 2008.
Even though it doesn’t seem long ago, the music industry has changed significantly.
“I felt like I couldn’t be who I wanted to be. I was told to not tell anybody I was gay. It was so obvious, everyone knew. But the fact I was told to keep it a secret messed me up pretty bad.”
“It was really awful, and contributed to me spiralling down into a horrible depression. Not knowing who I was, and was it ok to be queer? It’s crazy how much has changed in that amount of time.”
In 2015 Pip and Madeleine married, and she gave birth to their child in 2017.
Now, after a well earned break, a new Ladyhawke album is due in October this year.
The new album Time Flies sees her collaborating with old friend Nick Littlemore again.
“We hadn’t talked for a couple of years and then we hung out for a week and did some music, and a Ladyhawke track came out of it which was really nice.”
Currently living in Auckland, Pip will return to Australia to tour later this year.
Alongside new songs, fans can look forward to hearing Magic live soon.
“It’s the opening track of the first record and so I always had it as the opening track when I play live. It’s a great way to start out, and one of my favourite songs to play live.”