“AAAAAAAAA” – is how I reacted when I got Ladytron’s brand-spanking new album in my Inbox. It’s been long awaited, and from the first song, I knew it was going to be tremendous.
Helen Marnie, Daniel Hunt, Mira Aroyo and Reuben Wu are the sorcerers who make up Ladytron. A synthesised, illusive, dream-state, electro-pop band from Liverpool – who have been making music together since 1999.
Time’s Arrow is Ladytron’s seventh studio album – this time with the renowned independent record label Cooking Vinyl. Synonymous with electroclash, Ladytron have etherealised the hell out of their sound in this album.
This album takes you on a surreal journey through life, moments and memories as if travelling on the fletching of an arrow. Track-by-track, the voyage continues until it reaches the heart of the album, both the title and closing track ‘Time’s Arrow’.
“It’s about the collapse of cultural memory, it’s about forgetting,” says Daniel, “…how fragile it is”. “It’s not about one particular place or other, but a merging of them.”
Each track stands alone almost as a snippet into the minds of the band, or separate thoughts – drawn out and visited fleetingly through sound.
‘City of Angels’ is like the Happy Mondays are gleefully flying through a cult Mega Drive game. The Stone Roses have finished having a splash in that waterfall and are in the bright lights of the city, living their best lives on a Saturday club night. It’s a great opener, and draws you directly into the album – 100% Ladytron at their finest as their time arrow is notched, drawn and released.
‘Faces’ is deep and evocative. It has the seriousness you need to engage with a song without losing the pure will to dance for four hours to it. Potentially set to be a club classic or show up in a lot of remixes, ‘Faces’ is a beautiful song.
BBC 6 Music playlisted single, ‘Misery Remember Me’ encompasses magic. Like when you listen to Bowie – the way he somehow wove an entire imagination into a sound. This track does the same thing. Your brain is transported to a fantasy, that feeling of love and magic. It’s pure dream state.
By ‘The Dreamers’ we are well on our journey. We have crossed the boundaries of time, and made it into the dreamscape. A slower pace for the album. A lull into sleep and thought itself. ‘The Dreamers’ captures the allure that happens when your brain goes to that other place and there is no fear, anxiety or pain. Just beauty and sweet dreams. (I’m sidestepping nightmares here for poetic justice’s sake).
‘Sargasso Sea’ continues in the same way as ‘The Dreamers’, by now I was in a soup of sound. Everything was purple, blue, there were stars in my eyes, I was knee-deep in the oceans of ethereal utopia.
‘Time’s Arrow’ brings the sound full circle as it highlights that time, like our dreams, is immaterial. Yet, we have no choice but to experience either. We must first take part in time or dreamworld before we are able to see them in the fragility of retrospect. That nothing is tangible about it, but that our thoughts can be revisited like a picture book. Our feelings are valid for as long as we hold onto those fading images – unless they revisit us in our dreams of course.
Like taking a bath in sound, Time’s Arrow is the perfect start to your music of 2023.
Download the full album here on 20th January.
Ladytron are on tour in 2023 with three March dates in London, Liverpool and Glasgow, and like I said to my mate; ‘We loved them when we were 17 – now we’re 32 so let’s go!’