LADYTRON announce new album details

The wheel is turning the machine…

After a lengthy hiatus, electropop outfit Ladytron have announced details of a new album due to be released later this year.

Formed in Liverpool, Ladytron initially began life as a project between producers/DJs Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu (which led to the release of debut single ‘He Took Her To A Movie’ in 1999). Scottish student Helen Marnie and Bulgarian student Mira Aroyo joined the fledgling group soon after on vocals and synths.

Ladytron’s 2001 debut album 604 was met with critical acclaim, which was particularly surprising as it arrived during a period when synthpop was on a downturn. Their ability to put out polished, evocative electronic tunes via such singles as ‘Seventeen’, ‘Destroy Everything You Touch’ and ‘Ace Of Hz’ has helped to establish the outfit as one of the most accomplished modern synthpop outfits in recent years.

Following in the footsteps of other artists, the 4-piece band are looking at PledgeMusic to fund their new album venture. The new as-yet-untitled release will be Ladytron’s sixth studio album following on from 2011’s Gravity The Seducer.

The campaign will open with a new single release titled ‘The Animals’, which will also include a remix by iconic electronic musician Vince Clarke. “‘The Animals’ was the first new song we had, and with it we went almost immediately into the studio with Jim Abbiss, who has worked with us previously on Destroy… and the Witching Hour album,” says vocalist Helen Marnie. “He’s the producer who has really understood us the most”.

Ladytron’s members have been pursuing their own projects in recent years, notably Helen Marnie who has been busy crafting her own solo music. Her 2017 album Strange Words And Weird Wars (see TEC review here) was summed up by The Electricity Club as “a solid album of contemporary electropop that listeners will find intelligent, engaging and yet also fun”.

Meanwhile, Daniel Hunt has kept busy composing for screen and also co-produced Lush’s 2016 EP Blind Spot (see review on our sister website Wavegirl here). Mira Aroyo has been working in TV and film while Reuben Wu has flourished as an accomplished photographer.

The new PledgeMusic campaign offers up a wealth of rewards for pledgers, including signed copies of ‘The Animals’ single release, signed copies of the new album, handwritten lyric sheets, a History of Ladytron photo book and new T-shirts and hoodies.


‘The Animals’ is scheduled for release this April. The as-yet-untitled album is scheduled for a release this autumn.

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MARNIE Strange Words And Weird Wars

Smooth contemporary synthpop both strange and weird…

The release of the Crystal World album in 2013 demonstrated that Helen Marnie continued to display a talent for good electronic music, even while Ladytron were on an extended hiatus. As an album, it breathed a lush atmosphere that combined the electropop stylings that Marnie had crafted so well previously, but with a much more personal and emotional depth.

The gap between that album and new outing Strange Words And Weird Wars was broken only by the release of the buzzy pop of ‘Wolves’ in 2014. Instead, Marnie has spent time honing the material (written over a period of 2 years) before unleashing it on the world.

Initial previews of the album were encouraging, with the pulsing beats of ‘Alphabet Block’ showing that Marnie was switching gear for a much more pop-orientated direction than its 2013 forebear. Marnie herself described the track as “shoe-gaze electropop” and there’s certainly an immersive element to the composition. Marnie’s vocals take on a whispery sheen over a bed of layered synths and emphatic percussion and, as intro tracks go, it delivers the goods.

Marnie worked alongside Jonny Scott on the new album, who provided co-writing duties and adopted the role of producer. Scott arrived through Iain Cook (Chvrches) and being based in Glasgow (where Marnie has now relocated to from London) made a big difference to how Scott and Marine could collaborate.

Drawing comparisons with the likes of Ladyhawke and Goldfrapp, Strange Words And Weird Wars has opted for a much more electronic palette on this release, which also throws a nod or two to synthwave. Take the pop perfection on ‘Bloom’ which invites the listener to throw shapes on the dancefloor. “I’m in trouble again/in a no man’s land we’ll bloom” suggests Marnie on a track that boasts strong vocal melodies.

Meanwhile, ‘G.I.R.L.S.’ with its cheerleading chants offers up one of the strongest tracks on the album. It’s Pop with a capital ‘P’. Equally, ‘Electric Youth’ invites the listener to reflect on nights of teenage abandon on a track that has a bright, airy quality to it.

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Things take a more sober mood on ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’ – a much more slow-paced affair whose lyrics hint at danger. Clocking in as the album’s longest track, it’s also perhaps the only song that’s at odds with the more pop direction that the album’s aiming for.

There’s something of a more muscular crunchiness to ‘Lost Maps’, whose breezy pop is interleaved with layers of electronic effects beneath a confident vocal. For all that, the song has darker themes inspired by the refugee crisis (“survival’s not a crime”) and the idea of uncertain futures.

There’s a more languid quality to ‘Summer Boys’ whose nostalgia-seeped lyrics (“endless day of waterfalls/and drowning in their eyes”) are given a lift by the punchy power-pop percussion underpinning the track. Meanwhile, de-tuned synths lurk in the mix giving the composition a particular warmth.

Elsewhere, ‘Little Knives’ combines machine-like elements with warm pop, giving the whole affair polarising contrasts.

The album ends on a high note with the rhythmic wonder that’s ‘Heartbreak Kid’, its bass-heavy arpeggios setting the scene for the emotional punch in the vocal delivery (the lyrics of which served as inspiration for the album’s title). But it’s the melodic flourishes and arrangement that gives this track the polished pop that’s been such a central theme to the album as a whole.

Comparisons to Ladytron are somewhat inevitable, particularly as Helen Marnie’s unique vocal and style of electronic arrangements are such a vital component to the Liverpool synthpop group. But Strange Words manages to move beyond the overall style of that outfit and also builds on the foundations that Crystal World established. It’s a different album for sure, perhaps missing some of that baroque electropop that Marnie’s 2013 debut excelled at, but this is a minor quibble.

The end result is a solid album of contemporary electropop that listeners will find intelligent, engaging and yet also fun. Strange Words And Weird Wars is a continuing demonstration on why Marnie is one of electronic music’s most precious assets.


Strange Words And Weird Wars is out now on Disco Pinata.

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MARNIE Lost Maps

Smooth contemporary synthpop both strange and weird…

With the release of her first solo album Crystal World back in 2013, Helen Marnie demonstrated that she was just as adept at operating under her own steam as working within the group dynamic of Ladytron. Keeping to a tried and tested template of solid electronic compositions, the album nonetheless provided Marnie with a fresh canvas to paint on.

Now a new Marnie release is scheduled for release in the form of Strange Words And Weird Wars. In development for the past 2 years, the album features 10 new tracks which take up the story from Crystal World.

Influenced by life, love, loss, politics and all things ’80s pop, Strange Words And Weird Wars has been described as a contemporary pop album with an intelligence and depth.

The first track to surface from the new album was the sublime electronic goodness of ‘Alphabet Block’. An accomplished slice of synthpop and smooth percussive beats, the new tune was described by Marnie herself as “shoe-gaze electropop”.

‘Lost Maps’ is the latest track to be unveiled from the album and treads a similar path. There’s a muscular crunchy synth bed to the song which is interleaved with layers of electronic effects beneath a confident vocal from Marnie herself. Meanwhile, the promo video takes the idea of being lost and searching for something and transforms it into an intriguing narrative (featuring Marnie in a cameo role).

A further pre-release track ‘Electric Youth’, which is reckoned to be “channeling ’80s mall pop”, drops on 12th May.

The forthcoming release might have some Ladytron fans concerned about future releases from the electropop 4-some, although Marnie has been at pains to insist that more Ladytron is on the way in the future. Meanwhile, the arrival of Strange Words And Weird Wars this summer will keep fans of contemporary synthpop happy for a while yet.


Strange Words And Weird Wars is released 2nd June 2 2017 on Disco Pinata.

Pre-order the album on iTunes here (http://apple.co/2nHdZh9) and receive ‘Alphabet Block’ and ‘Lost Maps’ immediately and ‘Electric Youth’ on 12th May.

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