One session was all it took for Ladybyrd to seal her signature dramatic, cinematic sound. The 20 year old from Buckinghamshire had already laid the groundwork with a series of acclaimed singles released in her late teens, but it was last summer that the classically-trained, film music-mad musician first captured a song exactly as it had been in her head.

Way Back Home, the lead single from Ladybyrd’s forthcoming debut album, is at once intimate and explosive, in turns delicate and defiant. The sensuality of Lana Del Rey meets the drama of Florence Welsh in a bewitching world inspired by symphonic film scores.

“Way Back Home is a special song because it triggered everything,” says London-based Ladybyrd. “I wanted to replicate the passion and emotion I feel when I listen to a Hans Zimmer string piece.

“I often walk around London with my AirPods in, lost in film music, trying to romanticise my life. It transforms my day, makes me fall in love with life a little more. My aim is to create pop songs which have the same effect. Way Back Home was it for me.

“Lyrically it can have different meanings. It could be about feeling lost in the moment and searching for the person you were in the past. Or about finding your way back in a relationship or even to a place. I love the uplifting chorus – it’s a real singalong.”

It was an out-of-the-blue invite via Instagram from the producer and soundtrack composer Ian Barter (Paloma Faith, Dermott Kennedy, Amy Winehouse) that began Ladybyrd’s latest chapter. What was due to be a single session at his Reading studio took both by surprise.

“I hadn’t planned to start making an album, but with Ian, songs evolved almost magically,” says Ladybyrd. “I sang the chorus of Way Back Home in one go and, right then, we both knew that we were on to something special.”

Over several weeks, the pair wrote and produced seven spectacular songs, each unique, yet shot through with the same dreamy, dynamic DNA. Among them are the angsty Open Cage, the haunting, insomnia-inspired No Nightfall and the James Bond theme-like In This Life.

5 Hours, a strings-soaked favourite which turns a piano ballad on its hypnotic head, showcases a singer with complete control of her powerful, shapeshifting vocals. Madeleine, meanwhile, is a soaring, spine-tingling song to self, written solo by Ladybyrd on piano after a day of doubt, then taken to Ian to co-complete.

Elsewhere you’ll spot some of Ladybyrd’s other musical loves, from Kate Bush to Bon Iver to Taylor Swift, yet film scores were always the starting point, emotion the focus, with soundscapes crafted to lure listeners into her mesmerising world.

The daughter of a vicar and one of four siblings, Ladybyrd grew up harmonising with her sisters, playing the family piano and leading the church choir on a guitar she taught herself to play aged 10.

“We listened to lots of modern Christian music,” says Ladybyrd, who studied classical piano and was performing solo at school from the age of 12. “Not hymns, more like Hillsong and Bethel. Those songs are beautifully written, with such clear song structures and catchy choruses that a congregation can sing. They absolutely helped me to understand songwriting.”

By 11, Ladybyrd was writing her own songs, typically inspired by the films the family would watch together at night. Lyrically, she borrowed characters from both films and books, as well as from much closer to home.

“Being at the heart of a church really helped when there wasn’t much excitement in my own life,” says Ladybyrd. “Running a church is intense – you’re managing a whole community. The eclectic individuals we had round for Sunday lunch told endless fascinating stories, which I stored away.”

While studying for her A-levels during lockdown, Ladybyrd wrote a song a day for four months (one inspired by The Queen’s Gambit) taught herself Logic Pro and played around with orchestral sounds she had downloaded for free. By the time she got her impressive exam results, she was sending out demos she had produced herself.

Interest from producers made her put uni on hold and move to London, where she threw herself into open mic nights. For a year, she supported herself by doing everything from modelling to waitressing before, in May 2022, she released her first single, Too Close To Call, and immediately grabbed the attention of BBC Introducing.

Further singles and an EP, Sub Zero, followed, proving Ladybyrd’s ability to turn her captivating voice to different genres, from folk to rock.

“I was experimenting with who I was as an artist,” says Ladybyrd. “All of it led me to my sound now, far faster than I had expected. My range became bigger, my higher register stronger and I learnt to use my voice in lots of different ways.”

During a month in L.A., Ladybyrd contacted and met several film score composers among them the legendary Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek, Narnia, X-Men, Chicken Run, Phone Booth, Flushed Away).

“I’m a real networker now,” laughs Ladybyrd, who remains an independent artist. “I email as many people as possible and see what happens.

“Harry invited me to his studio and gave me advice on orchestration. I had to pinch myself. I grew up listening to his scores, especially The Chronicles of Narnia. The expereince was hugely inspiring.”

Ladybyrd’s fans also include the chart-topping Tom Speight, whom she cornered at a fashion event at the Houses of Parliament. Impressed, Tom invited her to sing backing vocals, which went so well that Ladybyrd recently supported him at Islington Academy.

Her most impressive networking, however, concerns Tom Cruise. After a chance meeting, she chatted to the Hollywood star, first about film scores, then her music. The outcome? He put Ladybyrd in touch with Mission Impossible’s soundtrack composer.

“I still can’t quite believe this,” says Ladybyrd, “but I’ve just finished recording vocals for a song on a TV series soundtrack he’s composing. Can I tell you what it is? Absolutely not, but I cannot wait for everyone to hear it.”


Her first single of 2024 ‘Way Back Home’ was released on 02.02.24

‘Open Cage’ was released on 22.03.24 along with a video

Ladybyrd will be releasing new singles throughout the year, leading up to her debut album, that will be released in the early part of 2025. She also has live gigs, musical collaborations and brand partnerships to share with you. Follow her on all social channels and subscribe.

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Updated April 2024


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