There’s this Ani DiFranco lyric where she goes, “I found religion in the greeting card aisle, now I know Hallmark was right. And every pop song on the radio is suddenly speaking to me.” For some reason, that lyric has stuck with me years later as a pretty apt summary of how I feel about love songs in general. Which is to say, when you’re “in love” somehow even the most generic pop love songs feels like an epiphany. Of course years later, I now know that love is merely a chain of chemical reactions in which your neurons fire off dopamine, the brain and adrenal glands release norepinephrine, and the amygdala (the part of your brain which controls judgement, read: music taste) shuts down. But that would be a long ass title for a song.
Which brings me to Ladyhawke who now joins the ranks of the thousands of artists who have named a love song, well “Love Song“. This is my first time listening to New Zealand singer-songwriter Ladyhawke (née Phillipa Margaret Brown) but this single reminded me of that Ani DiFranco lyric because of how the song seems to acknowledge its own existence as a cliche. The chorus goes, “You’ve opened my eyes to the oldest tale of time, this is what a love song sounds like,” but at the same time it awkwardly but unabashedly embraces its neon 80s synth-pop roots.
The song itself is fairly a paint-by-numbers affair with its shimmering synths and pulsating bassline. And like all the best pop love songs, there’s a bright catchy hook. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve heard this all before and maybe that’s the point. I’ll have to revisit the song after my amygdala has had a couple of drinks.
2 out of 5