Ladybower describe themselves – at least in the email they sent us – as an art-rock/alternative rock band. Now art-rock is one of those, let’s call it, wide-ranging genres. It means different things to different people. There is one thing I find unites all of the music that’s defined as art-rock, and that’s a certain archness, a certain sense of ‘this is a performance’ in the music. And this is something that ‘Human Ladder’ has.
First of all this song is about something, the band say, ‘Human ladder is a playful cocktail of energy, excitement and suspense. It tells the story of finally coming into your own after realising you’ve spent your life being stepped on. We think of Human Ladder as an energy-drink in song form’.
There is something of an 80s’ feel to ‘Human Ladder’ – there are hints of the kind of music produced by artists like Thomas Dolby, something of late Duran Duran peaking through in the guitar. It has that very angular guitar sound that is so 80s. Even the vocals come with something of an 80s’ feel. And it has the most wonderful swirling sections.
This is one of those times when I’m going to say this sounds retro BUT I’m not going to say brought up to date. You could have put this on TOTP in the 80s and it wouldn’t sound in the slightest out of place.
But this is just me – and other people of a similar age -, the thing is that for most of you – our readers – the fact that to me it sounds so 80s won’t be of much consequence. All you’re probably interested in is whether it sounds any good. And it sounds killer people, whether you’re going to sit and listen to it or do a wonderfully angular dance to it, it sounds so so good.
The playing and the production is absolutely fab. The fact that it was put together during lockdown in various basements and bedrooms – I’m assuming with not that much contact between band members – is just amazing. The production is as slick as.
Get on this now. It’s a fantastic song.
Ladybower are from Sheffield.
Jack Clinch – Bass
George Davis – Drums and Percussion
Joe Gausden – Vocals/Guitar/Keys