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Rock - Released January 12, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Natasha Khan's debut album as Bat for Lashes, Fur and Gold, was so vivid and fully realized that it was a tough act to follow: she found ways to make her wildest flights of fancy into music with the immediacy of pop and the intimacy of a singer/songwriter's confessions. It takes a lot of ambition to pull off that kind of alchemy, and that ambition defines Two Suns. Khan's sounds and visions are even more widescreen here, full of pristine electronics and heady concepts, and Scott Walker, the undisputed king of high-concept music, duets with her on the ultra-theatrical finale "The Big Sleep." Since Bat for Lashes' songs practically burst with characters and ideas, a concept album seems like a logical next step for Khan's music, but the magic her songs had previously feels dissipated this time around. Two Suns revolves around Khan's "desert-born spiritual self" and her "destructive, self-absorbed, blonde femme fatale" alter ego Pearl as it covers "the philosophy of the self and duality, examining the need for both chaos and balance, for both love and pain, in addition to touching on metaphysical ideas concerning the connections between all existence." That's a lot to pack into just 11 songs, and it's not always entirely clear just what they're about, despite motifs like "blue dreams" that run through them. Some songs are just plain overdone: "Traveling Woman" and "Peace of Mind," with its tribal rhythms and gospel choir, aim for majesty but end up dragging. Others use the album's posh polish to make an impact, like "Glass" -- on which Khan hits some amazing high notes -- and "Daniel," which nods to the poppier side of her music. The directness that made Fur and Gold's modern-day fairy tales so enchanting and moving is often missing, and nothing on Two Suns is as musically or emotionally immediate as "What's a Girl to Do?" or "Sad Eyes." However, the subtler spells Khan casts with hypnotic tracks like "Sleep Alone" and "Moon and Moon" eventually reveal their beauty. And as Two Suns unfolds, it gradually shifts from overt attempts to dazzle listeners to focusing on Bat for Lashes' greatest strengths: Khan's voice and her considerable skills at telling a story and setting a mood. Pearl may be the album's dark side, but she's responsible for some of its best songs. "Siren Song" sets her seductive false promises to dramatic pianos, while "Pearl"'s Dream," with its battles and kingdoms, is classic Bat for Lashes. "Good Love" reaffirms Khan's way with bruised ballads, and "Two Planets"' pummeling beats and swirling voices make the mystical power the rest of the album reached for crystal-clear. Ultimately, Two Suns is nearly as graceful and poetic as Bat for Lashes' best work; it's just that the album's massive concepts and sounds require a little more time and patience to unravel to get to the songs' hearts. It's clear that Khan's talent and ambition are both huge, and for her to slightly overreach is better than not aiming as high as she can. ~ Heather Phares

Rock - Released July 2, 2007 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions Sélection du Mercury Prize
With Fur & Gold, Bat for Lashes -- aka Natasha Khan -- brings a fairytale quality and air of mystery to her music, performing a delicate balancing act between everyday emotions and the power of fantasy. As the title suggests, there's something gorgeous but raw about her songs, which fly from spare British chamber folk to shades of lavish rock, pop, and dance as she throws herself into stories that update the traditions of other iconic female artists. She's a warrior princess of the moors with only her steed to keep her company on "Horse and I," a song whose dramatic sweep would do Kate Bush proud; on the fable-like sensual duet "Trophy," Khan sings "creatures of mercy/shoot them down and set me free" with Björk-like urgency. Despite Fur & Gold's unabashedly mystical vibe, Khan emphasizes the reality in her magical reality, whether she makes it sound like it's perfectly natural to sing "drink his blood and he's our leader" on "The Wizard," or crafts strong heroines on songs such as "Prescilla"'s urban folk or "Sarah"'s surprising rock. The most remarkable thing -- out of a lot of remarkable things -- about Fur & Gold is the emotional power of Khan's songs. "What's a Girl to Do?" might be decorated with beautifully ghostly girl group beats and harmonies, but the pain of falling out of love is palpable. Best of all is "Sad Eyes," a love song so warm and fragile that the way it cuts to the quick when Khan sings "trying to keep it together/keep my love as light as a feather" is breathtaking. As far flung as these songs can be, they never sound scattered, and only rarely overdone: the thunderstorm-laden ballad "I Saw a Light" is the only moment that feels close to over the top. Fortunately, the final track, a soaring cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" that shows off Khan's vulnerable, old soul voice to its finest, more than compensates. This is a vivid, accomplished, transporting debut. ~ Heather Phares

Alternative & Indie - Released September 6, 2019 | Bat For Lashes

Some artists just fit into the whole 80s revival genre effortlessly. Vintage synths, saxophone solos and gated reverb have never been further away from cheesy than with Lost Girls by Bat For Lashes. Maybe because those tools are at the root of a baroque electro-pop sound that’s been brewing for over a decade. Natasha Khan’s ever-changing approach to music started with Fur and Gold (2007)’s lascivious chamber-folk: the seeds of her 5th album were already planted by then – an astonishing soprano, an overactive imagination, and colorful instrumentation. Comparisons with Kate Bush came one after the other. These days, it might be easier to reference contemporaries such as CHVRCHES or Ladytron, thanks to her recognizable synth groove signature.However, that first comparison still stands today, despite some stylistic changes. Bush and Khan have the same propensity for ambivalence: the ambiguity of desire, or melancholy and feminine strength, in addition to being a major theme for both singers, is manifested through tasteful vocal nuance that allows each to glide between whispers and sky-high melodies. The voices on Lost Girls are characterized by that same sense of restraint, but the instrumentation doesn’t necessarily follow in the same stride. For example, on the barely camouflaged sexual allegory of The Hunger (supposedly about vampires …), Khan combines the majesty of a reverb-drenched organ with a syncopated funk bass line, communicating a very on-point sense of urgency. As far as albums go, this one is enjoyably retro, bringing the listener far away from 2019 and any socio-political turmoil. Some much-needed escapism for “interesting” times. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz

Alternative & Indie - Released July 1, 2016 | Parlophone UK

The Bat for Lashes universe is one that is all its own. When seeking inspiration for the album, the British singer and producer Natasha Khan wrote and directed a short film. Put together between LA, London, her native Brighton, and Woodstock in New Jersey (where she has a home studio), the whole of The Bride will be performed in a very particular way, like the first singles, which were first performed live in churches. The album itself narrates the story of a woman who watches her husband die en route to their marriage, a theme that is sometimes particularly melancholy (Joe’s Dream). Between the overuse of reverb and lilting vocals, the album is nevertheless pretty and destabilising, which showcases the genuine artistic method that is at work. The producer Dan Carey (Nick Mulvey) and musician Ben Christophers have both supported Natasha Khan, to iron out the creases in this otherwise well-conceived whole.

Alternative & Indie - Released February 3, 2020 | Bat For Lashes


Alternative & Indie - Released August 5, 2019 | Bat For Lashes


Alternative & Indie - Released October 15, 2012 | Parlophone UK

Natasha Khan's two previous Bat for Lashes albums -- 2006's Fur and Gold and 2009's Two Suns -- were lavish affairs from their cover images to their intricate songs. However, The Haunted Man's album artwork, which depicts Khan as naked except for the also nude man slung over her shoulders, was one of the first hints that she was taking a slightly different tack with this set of songs. More proof came with "Laura," the soft, spare ballad she picked to be the album's lead single. While Khan explored her flair with character studies on Two Suns, this song's intimacy and the keenly observed details in lyrics like "your tears feel hot on my bedsheets" felt more like a natural progression from songs like "Sad Eyes," off of Fur and Gold. As that album (and Two Suns' more restrained moments) showed, Khan's singing and writing are more than strong enough to be more or less naked, and she finds freedom in this throughout most of The Haunted Man. Feeling alive is a refrain on many of these songs, most vividly on the proudly sexual "Oh Yeah," where Khan is "waiting like a flower to open wide" and the unearthliness of her upper register adds a fairytale sparkle to her desire. This mix of rawness and delicacy makes her among the best of all the Kate Bush disciples dotting the early 21st century pop landscape at emulating the will-o-the-wisp willfulness of La Bush's work, particularly on the silvery, shivery opening track "Lilies" and "Winter Fields," which soars above the English countryside with just a little bit of fear shading its wonder. When The Haunted Man strays from these sparer sounds, the results are mixed: the tribal/primal rhythms and vocals on "Horses of the Sun" add to its rough-hewn beauty, but the electronic squiggles and processed vocals on "Marilyn" are distracting and indulgent. Still, much of The Haunted Man caters to Khan's strengths, and songs such as "All Your Gold," "A Wall," and "Rest Your Head" are among the catchiest she's written in some time. Focus and restraint might not sound exciting in and of themselves, but The Haunted Man is more direct than any of Bat for Lashes' previous work, and manages to keep the air of mystique around Khan that has made her one to watch and listen to since her early days. ~ Heather Phares

Alternative & Indie - Released June 10, 2019 | Bat For Lashes


Alternative & Indie - Released September 2, 2019 | Bat For Lashes


Alternative & Indie - Released July 1, 2016 | Parlophone UK


Alternative & Indie - Released August 19, 2019 | Bat For Lashes


Alternative & Indie - Released July 26, 2019 | Bat For Lashes


Alternative & Indie - Released October 28, 2008 | Centaurus A Pictures


Rock - Released July 20, 2012 | Parlophone UK


Rock - Released February 27, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Alternative & Indie - Released July 1, 2016 | Parlophone UK

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Exploring femininity in all its personas is a major part of Bat for Lashes' music, and never more so than on The Bride. On Natasha Khan's fourth album, the titular character undergoes a more dramatic transformation than most brides do at their weddings: After her fiance is killed in a car accident en route to the wedding, she flees the church and goes on her honeymoon alone. It's a more single-minded concept than some of Bat for Lashes' other albums, and since Khan's music is as theatrical as it is vulnerable, it should be a perfect fit. However, The Bride's journey through romance, horror, grief, and healing is more subdued than might be expected. The album begins vividly: Bedecked in fluttering harps and some of Khan's loveliest vocals yet, "I Do" has all the showy nuptial romance of a petal-strewn aisle. It's so incredibly sweet that it feels like it's tempting fate, offering the perfect setup for the brewing terror on "In God's House," as well as the slow-building drama of "Joe's Dream" and the hallucinatory panic of "Honeymooning Alone," both of which give the death-obsessed pop of the '50s and '60s a highbrow update. Depending on listeners' patience, however, The Bride's slower second half may be hypnotic or dreary. To trace the arc from mourning to recovery, Khan relies on ballads that range from bitter ("Never Forgive the Angels") to empowering ("I Will Love Again," which sounds more like the kind of fare Adele or Christina Aguilera would sing). And though she gives the bride a surprisingly happy ending with "In Your Bed" -- which finds the character wanting to stay in her lover's arms rather than go out on the town -- it feels like her story is missing several chapters. Similarly, The Bride often feels like a missed opportunity to revisit the drama Bat for Lashes delivered so ably on Two Suns. Khan rectifies this somewhat on more mystical songs like the witchy invocation of "Widow's Peak" and "Close Encounters," an eldritch lovers' meeting that recalls Wuthering Heights (both the book and the Kate Bush song). Still, it's hard not to want Bat for Lashes to go further down this path; while Khan used restraint eloquently on The Haunted Man, The Bride is beautifully crafted, but not always thrilling. ~ Heather Phares

Rock - Released April 3, 2009 | Parlophone UK


Pop - Released February 19, 2008 | Parlophone UK


Alternative & Indie - Released May 29, 2009 | Manimal Vinyl Records


Rock - Released September 4, 2009 | Parlophone UK


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