Before the collapse of print media, every kid in the UK followed music rags like NME and monthly magazines like Q and Record Collector. However, British music critics took great pleasure in building an artist up before pulling the stool out from under their feet and watching them fall from grace. It seemed to happen almost monthly – a band’s debut single was voted ‘best song of the year’ and by the time their first album was released, the critics would savage it before moving on to the next victim. Thankfully, by 2006, their critical power wasn’t as strong because the internet was giving the audience more choice and more power. It was then that both critics and music lovers became enamored by Bat For Lashes, a new artist that appeared – fully formed – seemingly out of nowhere. For once, everyone seemed to agree that this artist was something unique and special.
Bat For Lashes was and is both a person – Natasha Khan – and dream fulfilled. The UK-based singer/songwriter, who is half-Pakistani and half-British, came from a family of respected squash players and was often inspired by the excitement that she felt when hearing the crowds roar at squash matches. She eventually turned that inspiration into creative energy, writing songs and slowly transforming into Bat For Lashes. While it wasn’t an easy journey, she managed to channel all of her experiences into her songwriting. Since she released the debut Bat For Lashes album, FUR AND GOLD, in 2006, she’s been nominated for numerous awards (Mercury Prize, Brit Awards, MTV VMAs, etc.) as well as winning an ASCAP Award and, more recently, an Ivor Novello. Her first four albums – as well as an album with her side project Sexwitch – are beloved additions to every music lover’s collection.
In 2019, Natasha is back with LOST GIRLS, an album that combines indie smarts with Electronic Pop and World Music influences. Not unlike a modern take on Kate Bush’s HOUNDS OF LOVE, the album manages to be experimental without losing that commercial edge. The songs may rely on electronics but they are still full of heart and soul. This is music that plants its seeds on the first listen but begins to bloom with each successive spin. “The Hunger,” “Desert Man,” “Vampires,” and “Safe Sky” are just a few of the tracks that will leave their mark and keep the listener coming back for more, revealing different layers with every new listen. Comparing Bat For Lashes to artists like Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins may not make sense to younger folks, but anyone that felt emotionally connected to those artists back in the ‘80s and ‘90s will find something new to love with LOST GIRLS. This is and album that is atmospheric and beautiful in so many ways.
BAT FOR LASHES