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Ladytron: Giving Female Artists a Voice in Electronica


Ladytron

It’s quite evident that there are certain stereotypes regarding female musicians. If you are a young girl who is aspiring to be a superstar artist, then people direct you towards mainstream pop and classical country song. This tends to standardize women and confine them within bounds that they aren’t supposed to transgress as per the expectations of society. People view female artists as celebrity figures on television who are known for their risqué and edgy music videos. As a matter of fact, this particular stereotype against women is quite demeaning and should be diminished fast. Not that there is anything wrong with female artists in pop music, but it has become a notion that in the case of other genres of music, especially Electronic music, females need not apply.

Female Electronic Musicians

Female artists honing their craft in electronic genres tend to be slightly underrated and unappreciated. In most cases, these female artists are as good as their male counterparts if not better. Despite that, fame and acclaim often eludes them. Then again, every once in a while we come across exceptions that change perception of people. We come across artists who are able to break the glass ceiling and conquer insurmountable odds.  We come across names like Ladytron who have turned the music industry upside down with their unmatched, unparallel and immaculate skills in music. Their revolutionary sounds have been the talk of the town for quite some time, and given their current rate of progress, this band is here to stay. They are here to succeed and inspire new generations of female electronic musicians.

Birth of Ladytron

Ladytron was formed in Liverpool in the year 1999. The band is primarily head by its two female lead vocals. They are Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo. To complement and support these two incredible artists, you have Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu playing the instruments which include the synthesizers and guitars. They do function as vocal at times, but the band is basically well known for the enchanting voice of Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo. Electro-pop and electronic rock are the comfort zones of Ladytron. You will also find the essence shoegazing, new wave and dream pop in their music.

It all started back in the early 90s, when Hunt met up with Wu. Back then, Hunt was in charge of the indie label Invicta Hi-Fi and Wu was well versed in Industrial Design in Sheffield Hallam University. They began to work on creating Electronic music, and using the name Ladytron, they released their debut single by the name of “He Took Her to a Movie”. This track was sung by Lisa Eriksson. The single was very well received and it put them on course to achieve greater success in the future. If you think of Ladytron as a project, then Wu and Hunt were the initiators of the project. When Marnie and Aroyo came into the mix, they soon became the front-women of the band, and are in large parts responsible for the overwhelming response that they receive from listeners and critics alike. Back in 1999, Marnie was a student of music in the University of Liverpool while Aroyo was a post graduate student of research genetics in the Department of Biochemistry in the University of Oxford.

Extended Plays and First Album

In the year of their formation, Ladytron produced a Japan exclusive EP called “Miss Black and Her Friends”. Another EP followed in the next year by the name of “Commodore Rock”. The “Mu Tron EP” was released in 2000 as well. Almost all of the songs from these EPs were put together in their debut album that was to follow suit. The album was named “604” and it came out in the year 2001. The album featured a handful of singles including “He Took Her to a Movie”, “Playgirl” and “The Way I Found You”. Among these, “Playgirl” was the one that drew the most attention and gave the band the kick start that they needed to compete with the big boys in the Electronic Music industry. The significance behind the “604” name of the album was explained by Daniel Hunt, who said,

“It’s the area code for British Columbia… we’re glad we’ve attached this strange importance to that number, it crops up everywhere now. We noticed when we stayed in Hamburg in Germany (in a hotel called “Commodore” – pure coincidence), that the number to phone reception from your room was ‘604’. Moments afterwards the building had caught fire and we were lucky to escape with our lives. I’m not joking”

Second Album and Rigorous Touring

The second album of Ladytron, “Light & Magic” was made available in the year 2002. What made this album different from the previous one was its darker theme. Undergrounds hits such as “Seventeen”, “Blue Jeans” and “Evil” were reasons why the album reached the level of popularity that it did. The release of the album was followed up by a promotion tour. In the year that followed, they released a mix compilation album by the name of “Softcore Jukebox”. It was basically a collection of tracks from other artists, but it also included two of their own songs. One of which was the single remix of “Blue Jeans” and the other was a cover of Tweet’s Oops.

Third Album

As soon as the curtains fell on the “Light & Magic” tours, Ladytron commenced work on their third album. When it was released, it was subjected to unprecedented and unexpected admiration, applause and acclaim. The fans loved it, and so did the critics. The album was named “Witching Hour” and it was released in 2005. The songs “Sugar“, “Destroy Everything You Touch“, “International Dateline”, “Weekend”, and “Soft Power” were released as singles from the album. “Destroy Everything You Touch” is considered as the band’s most recognizable song. In the follow up tour, they didn’t really have much support from any label. In spite of that, Ladytron toured for 2 years at a stretch, which pretty much sapped out every ounce of energy in them. However, the bang was determined to reach greater heights and explore further unchartered territories. When 2006 came, they released the light “Extended Play” which contained exclusive unreleased remixes and a number of UK-B sides.

Fourth Album

“Volocifero”, their fourth album was released 2 years later in 2008. Tracks with heavier sound were the trademark style of music that was incorporated in the album. The album resulted in the release of 3 singles. These were “Ghosts”, “Runaway” and “Tomorrow”. As usual, the album was followed by a promotion tour. This one took place in North America, and they were accompanied by The Faint. They took the tour all the way to down under, where they put up a special performance in the Sydney Opera House. In that very year, they released their maiden live album called Live At London Astoria.

Ace of Hz

A digital single by the name of “Ace of Hz” was released in the year 2010. This song was featured in the FIFA 11 game, and subsequently channelled a lot of attention and appreciation towards the brand of music that Ladytron were presenting to the world. The Ace of Hz EP soon followed which had an album mix in addition to 5 remixes. The compilation “Best of 00-10” came out in 2011. In it, there were 17 tracks on standard edition and 33 tracks on the deluxe edition. Once this was released, Ladytron resumed their hectic tour schedule. They moved all around the world, carrying the flag of new generation Electronic music. They reached out to places such as Austria, China, Sweden, Finland, UK, Poland, Ireland, Spain and Hungary.

Fifth Album, Remix and Current Projects

As the tour came to a conclusion, it was time for Ladytron to release their fifth studio album. This one was called “Gravity the Seducer”. The first single from this album was “White Elephant”. This received a commendable number of views on Youtube and other social media platforms. “White Elephant” was followed up by “Ambulances” and “Mirage”. Much like “White Elephant”, the music video for “Mirage” was also very well received by the Youtube viewers. It was time once again for the band to head back on tour. In an attempt to promote the album, they toured the United States, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and last but not the least Singapore. This time around, they received plenty of support from organizations such as SONOIO, VHS or Beta and Geographer.

Back in 2006, the band had been working on a music video that had been left incomplete. This video was finally released in the year 2013 as was titled as “International Dateline”. In that same year, a remix album by the name “Gravity the Seducer Remixed” was presented to the fans who couldn’t get enough of Ladytron. Their sixth studio album is scheduled to be released in the year 2015, and the recording for the album has already been done and dusted in the year that passed us by.  

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