Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I never thought pop could be interesting, that it could be a realm for experimentation and new ideas.  With a couple of exceptions, it all sounded the same; meaningless drivel with no creativity, with painfully recycled lyrics all about the same damn thing.

Then I heard Ladytron.

A quick explanation of who these people are.  Ladytron is a quartet of British artists that blend electropop dance beats with sweeping, retro-style new wave synth lines.  They get their signature sound from a vintage Korg MS20.  They've changed their style over the years, becoming more polished, but that retro-meets-modern fusion has never quite left. 

Something I find fascinating about Ladytron is that in terms of structure, their music bears a superficial resemblance to mainstream pop like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Roisin Murphy, etc.  But you give it a closer listen, and it's different.  It's eerie.  The vocals are emotionally detached, and sound like they're coming from far, far away.  The instrumentation is synth-heavy and moody, fleshing out the unearthly vocals.

Unlike some of the other artists I've written about, Ladytron have actually achieved some measure of renown.  Their music has shown up in video games like LittleBigPlanet and Need For Speed, and even the Sims.  Their music is played on the radio once in a blue moon, and they seem to halfway made the transition to underground artist to above ground hit, if you'll excuse the pun.

In conclusion, the kids are free, and all the need is a gift from their mom and dad.