Ladyhawke has revealed her new album was delayed while she battled to get sober, and says making it was like an exorcism for her soul.

Due out in June, Wild Things will be the first release from Ladyhawke since her 2012 record Anxiety.

The Kiwi singer-songwriter says she spent the past four years struggling with alcohol and scrapped an entire album's worth of material because it was "too dark".

"People wonder why there's always a massive gap between my albums," Ladyhawke, whose real name is Pip Brown, said in a statement.

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The album artwork for Ladyhawke's new album, Wild Things.
The album artwork for Ladyhawke's new album, Wild Things.

"I've never released anything I'm not proud of. That's important to me. I don't want to release anything that I have a weird feeling about.

"The material didn't feel like me," Brown says about her ditched record. "It felt too dark or something."

Ladyhawke, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's, said her reliance on alcohol stemmed from issues with social anxiety.

But she has quit drinking and is focused on getting healthy, and that change helped inspire Wild Things.

"I'd never done a sober show in my life until last December," Brown confessed. "This album has given me a sense of purpose. Even if it took me months or years to get that purpose, as soon as I finished that record it was like an unbelievable weight was lifted off my shoulders.

"Everything I wrote was all the stuff I was going through. I got it out of my system, exorcised it from my soul."

In a 2008 interview with The Guardian, Ladyhawke said she started drinking heavily when she was 16 and it helped give her confidence.

"When I was younger, I could really sink them. It brought me out of my shell. A dozen beers would have me hammered," said, adding that it helped her overcome her anxieties about performing live.

"I find live performances hard. I can't look anyone in the eye. I'm so conscious of everyone staring at me. I start to think I'm terrible or I'm singing out of tune. I get sickly-nervous before I play. I throw up and start shaking and sweating. The second I get on stage it disappears and the adrenaline kicks in. I try not to look at anyone in the audience or it will freak me out. Especially when they're smiling."

The first release from her upcoming album is A Love Song, but Brown says that doesn't mean it's sappy.

"This is what a love song should sound like," she said. "I'd lose everything if I didn't stop drinking. The other person in your life, sometimes they have to be cruel to be kind."

Ladyhawke became famous thanks to several hit songs like Paris Is Burning and My Delirium, and received rave reviews for her first two albums, with her first self-titled record going to No. 1 in the New Zealand and Australian charts.

It earned her six NZ Music Awards, an Australian ARIA for Best Breakthrough Single and a nomination for Best International Artist at the Brit Awards.

In 2015 Brown married New Zealand actress Madeleine Sami.

Ladyhawke promises Wild Things, out June 3, will be even more "synthy and poppy" than previous releases.

"I feel good for the first time in 10 years. I actually have a clear mind! I have a wife. I feel stable. That is what I'm celebrating."

Who: Ladyhawke
What: New album Wild Things
When: Out June 3, pre-order available now.
Also: Listen to her new song A Love Song, and previous records, Anxiety (2012) and Ladyhawke (2008).
Playing: Auckland City Limits festival, Western Springs, Saturday March 19.

- nzherald.co.nz