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Ladyhawke: Breaking Up, With An Asterisk

Ladyhawke's self-titled debut had its U.S. release only a few months ago, but her singles have already been remixed by the likes of Peaches and retro-electro act Cut Copy. This form of flattery suits the 27-year-old New Zealander, known offstage as Pip Brown. Ladyhawke's '80s-inflected pop borrows heavily from the closets of that era's iconic female vocalists, swiping The Eurythmics' synthesizers while sporting Stevie Nicks' haircut for good measure. Brown played all the instruments on the record, and even with slick production by Pascal Gabriel (Dido, Kylie Minogue), it retains an intimate, solitary feel.

The danceably anthemic "Better Than Sunday" functions as a Dear John letter, written from the perspective of a lover who's tired of being left behind like a pet in an empty apartment: "You've left me here alone / You're holding all I own," she sings. "You'll wish you treated me with much more dignity." But her character is hedging — "I'm leaving Monday / It's better than Sunday" — which makes a certain amount of sense: Being left alone isn't as scary as being alone.

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Shauna Miller