Bat For Lashes is the musical project name of one Natasha Khan, the English songstress who evokes the spirit of Kate Bush and sings dark, haunted songs that will seep through the very fiber of your bones. Her sophomore album, Two Suns, was probably my favorite album of 2009. It was dark and powerful and goosebumps-inducing in all the right places. Highlighted by Khan’s amazing and deep vocals, the songs of Two Suns immerse you immediately upon first listen with it’s propulsive chords and left you entranced by glorious sadness at its wake. Two Suns is the album that trumpets that Natasha Khan has arrived.
It is with this heightened expectations that I listened to The Haunted Man, Bat For Lashes‘s, highly anticipated third album. I can tell you right now that there was no possible way The Haunted Man could match Two Suns, given my great love for the latter. What I can tell that on it’s own, The Haunted Man is a very good, great album. While not as immediate as Two Suns, The Haunted Man maintains the consistency and dark tone that are hallmarks of Bat For Lashes records. It definitely is a barer record as well (by Bat For Lashes standards), paring back the drama of both Two Suns and Fur And Gold, Bat For Lashes‘ debut record.
The Haunted Man definitely has it’s share of highlights. Lillies, All Your Gold, Marilyn, and Winter Fields are amazing songs in their own right. But the real gem is found in first single Laura. Driven only by piano keys, Laura finds Bat For Lashes utilizing her greatest asset – her voice – to paint a mournful, sad tale of growing up and growing old and leaving the glamor of youth behind. This is one of those songs that will stick with and haunt you as soon as you hear it. This is the song that will remind everyone that Natasha Khan is more than a superstar.
Check out the videos for both Laura and a dancing Natasha Khan in All Your Gold embedded below.
Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man comes out 10/23 via EMI (order here)