Pip Brown was one of a clutch of highly regarded female singers who buzzed into view a few years ago, but anxiety issues associated with her Asperger’s syndrome made for uneasy live performances and scuppered her chances of a sizable breakthrough. Four years on from her debut album, the New Zealander returns in a different frame of mind, with guitars rather than synths now to the fore.
Brown’s dalliances with Fleetwood Mac-style pop appear to be over: now she nods and winks to Britpop’s old guard, a scene she says she loved as a kid. Whatever about the musical clothes she is wearing, the main problem with Anxiety is the lack of strong songs to remind you of why so many fell for Ladyhawke’s hooks in the first place. Apart from the enticing push and pull of Cellophane and the neat melancholic swing of Sunday Drive, there’s little here that sticks in your mind after repeated listens. ladyhawkemusic.com