Follow TV Tropes


Music / Ladytron

Go To
From left to right: Reuben Wu, Mira Aroyo, Daniel Hunt, Helen Marnie

Ladytron is a cult British Electronic Music band formed in 1999 in Liverpool. It consists of Helen Marnie (vocals, synths), Mira Aroyo (vocals, synths) and Daniel Hunt (guitar, synths) along with Reuben Wu on synths from 1999 to 2023. Also they're all songwriters and DJs.

Their music style could be described as Synth-Pop with influences from New Wave Music, Shoegazing, Dream Pop, Industrial Rock, Post-Punk. They called their music electronic pop.

Ladytron have produced remixes for many artists like Nine Inch Nails, SONOIO, David Gahan, Goldfrapp, Apoptygma Berzerk, Placebo, Simian, Blondie, Christina Aguilera, Gang of Four, Indochine, Bloc Party, Kings of Convenience, She Wants Revenge, Soulwax, and more.

They took their name from the song "Ladytron" by Roxy Music. According to the legendary Brian Eno, who was also a member of Roxy Music, Ladytron are "the best of English pop music".

In 2012, Marnie started a solo career and released the album Crystal World in 2013, followed by a second album, Strange Words and Weird Wars, in 2017.

In 2023, two months after the release of the album Time's Arrow, Wu announced his departure from the band, citing his developing career as a photographer in the United States, in the process declaring himself "Ladytron's number one fan".


  • 604 (2001)
  • Light & Magic (2002)
  • Witching Hour (2005)
  • Velocifero (2008)
  • Gravity the Seducer (2011)
  • Ladytron (2019)
  • Time's Arrow (2023)

Witching Tropes:

  • Album Title Drop: 604 gets its title from the lyrics of "I'm With the Pilots" (604 is also a reference to The Andromeda Strain), Light & Magic from its title song, Witching Hour from the chorus of "Soft Power", Gravity the Seducer from the lyrics of "Ninety Degrees", Time's Arrow from its title song.
  • Animated Music Video: "Evil" (UK version).
  • Bilingual Bonus: Because Aroyo was born and partly raised in Bulgaria, their first four albums have at least one song sung entirely in Bulgarian. They even did a cover of a Bulgarian rock song ("Kletva" from their fourth album, Velocifero).
  • Boyish Short Hair: Marnie and Aroyo during promotion of their first two albums. Zig-Zagged in their subsequent albums.
  • Broken Record: All two verses of "Seventeen".
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: In the video for "Ghosts", many rabbits add cuteness to imagery that would otherwise be quite dark. The concept was inspired by the animation Watership Down.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Until around 2004, they used to wear black or olive uniforms.
  • Cover Version:
  • Darker and Edgier: Witching Hour, Velocifero and Ladytron.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Their very first song "He Took Her to a Movie" was sung by Lisa Eriksson instead of Helen Marnie and/or Mira Aroyo, since at that point the band was essentially just Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu (although Eriksson sounds a lot like Marnie, and the backing vocals heard through the song, which sound quite like Aroyo, appear to be Eriksson being her own backing vocalist). Also, while still electronic, it's more of a straight Kraftwerk derivative rather than the more eclectic Genre Mashup their later output is known for, at times even sounding like Kraftwerk's "The Model".
  • Escaped from the Lab: The video "The Island" depicts a humanoid lab subject attempting this, wandering through the British landscape and breaking into a young boy's house. The scientists catch up with her however, eventually taking her out to a field and setting her on fire.
  • Every Episode Ending: They usually play "Destroy Everything You Touch" at the end of their shows since this tune was released.
  • Genius Loci: The music video for "Destroy Everything You Touch" depicts some snowy mountains with the band member's living faces on them.
  • Genre Mashup: They're sort of synthpop-dreampop-shoegaze-new-wave-industrial-rock, if we're taking their oeuvre as a whole.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Best of 00-10, which is also a very good introduction to their music (especially the deluxe edition with 33 songs).
  • Multinational Team: Helen is Scottish, Mira is Bulgarian, Daniel is English and Reuben is also English and is of Chinese descent.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The cover of their compilation album Softcore Jukebox (which as a whole is a Shout-Out to Roxy Music's Country Life) has Mira Aroyo in a two-piece bikini and Helen Marnie in a swimsuit.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Soft Power".
  • Lighter and Softer: Gravity the Seducer is lighter than Velocifero.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: A Type 2 + Type 3 example from 2000 to 2023:
    • Type 2 as their first single "He Took Her to a Movie" was recorded with a guest vocalist. The band at the time was only Hunt and Wu as they hadn't met Marnie or Aroyo yet.
    • Type 3 due to the six year hiatus between touring Gravity the Seducer and recording Ladytron.
  • New Sound Album: Starting with Witching Hour, the group has effectively switched up their sound with each album, whereas the first two were generally in the same style. While Witching Hour, Velocifero, and Gravity the Seducer are all still Synth-Pop, they're all different interpretations of it. Witching Hour is their rockier album, with influences from Shoegazing and Dream Pop, and Velocifero is essentially a heavily electronic New Wave album. Gravity the Seducer, on the other hand, is more of a baroque Dream Pop, with a bit of a cinematic flare. Their self-titled album is considered to be a combination of the three previous albums.
  • Non Sequitur: "Blue Jeans" actually makes more sense if you ignore the namesake phrase, which appears interspersed through the song seemingly with no rhyme nor reason, in which case the song appears to be about a love affair that has ended. (One exception to this appears to be the part about how "Blue jeans won't cut at the seams / Like you want them to", implying that relationships not working out like one expects them to is compared to blue jeans.)note 
  • Obsession Song: "Burning Up" has the narrator telling someone "I wrote a protest song about you, about you" and from then on things escalate until they tell the other person "I set myself on fire without you, without you."
  • Ode to Youth: "Seventeen" is a dark example of this, as it is about how "they only want you when you're seventeen", and that "when you're twenty-one, you're no fun."
  • Oop North: Although Aroyo is of Bulgarian origins and Marnie hails from Scotland, Wu and Hunt were both born and raised in Liverpool.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Tomorrow is Another Day"
    "I never asked you all the fucking things I wanted to
    But tomorrow is another day"
  • Record Producer: They always produced their own albums and were helped by other producers.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Marnie and Aroyo could be easily described as such, with songs sung by Marnie usually being more passionate, refering to romantic themes, and her delivery being accordingly quite breathy (red); while songs sung by Aroyo come off as more aloof and collected, refering to non-romantic themes, and her delivery being deep, ranging on the monotone (blue).
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Helen Marnie fulfilled this role during the 00s. This became downplayed when she went brunette during the Gravity the Seducer era and then averted by Ladytron when she dons grey hair.
  • Shout-Out: The band's name derives from a Roxy Music song of the same name.
  • Singing Simlish: They recorded four songs especially for The Sims 3 soundtrack: "Young Etruscians", "She Stepped Out of the Car", "Rockfalls & Estuaries", "Tesla".
  • Single Stanza Song: "Seventeen" consists only of the following stanza (which is repeated several times, also making it a case of Looped Lyrics):
    They only want you when you're seventeen,
    When you're twenty-one, you're no fun.
    They take a Polaroid and let you go
    Say they'll let you know, so come on.
  • Soprano and Gravel: A version of this; Marnie's voice is very airy, and relatively high, which is in stark contrast to Aroyo's deep, stern vocals.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: "Versus" is a duet between Marnie and Hunt, making it the first Ladytron song with male lead vocals. Hunt also sang backing vocals on "International Dateline".
  • Surreal Music Video: The music videos for "White Elephant", "Tomorrow", and "Destroy Everything You Touch".
  • Synth-Pop: With influences from New Wave, Shoegazing, Dream Pop, Industrial Rock, and Post-Punk.
  • The Smart Guy:
    • Reuben trained in Industrial Design at Sheffield Hallam University. Also he can play violin and he's an accomplished photographer.
    • Mira has a PhD in genetics at the University of Oxford.
    • Helen has a BA in pop music at Liverpool University.
  • Titled After the Song: The band was named after a 1972 Roxy Music song. Brian Eno himself is a fan of Ladytron.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: While the band early on wore matching clothes, once they started to dress more diversely, this dynamic emerged between Marnie and Aroyo (especially on music videos), with Marnie usually wearing femenine dresses while Aroyo would choose items like trousers or newsboy caps. Even during the time they both wore Boyish Short Hair, Marnie's hairstyle veered towards '20s Bob Haircut, while Aroyo was even shorter.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Possibly the case with the subject of "Destroy Everything You Touch". It seems to be about a person who has been badly hurt before so deliberately sabotages their own relationships and everything else they engage in.