Artist of the week: Bat for Lashes
Natasha Khan, better known for her stage name Bat for Lashes, is a half-Pakistani, half-English singer-songwriter that entered the indie world causing quite a sensation with her delicate, disarming and often mystical sound, prompting keen comparisons with both Kate Bush and Björk, two undeniable influences. Both her debut, Fur and Gold (2006), and her sophomore album, Two Suns (2009), were nominated for the Mercury Prize and were found fascinated audiences successes on both sides of the Atlantic. She made a left turn with the much more restrained The Haunted Man (2012) that nevertheless managed to climb to the Top 10 of the UK Charts.
The next few years were spent with a series of collaborations with other musicians such as Damon Albarn, Jon Hopkins and most notably Toy with whom she formed the psych-folk band Sexwitch and released an eponymous album in 2015.
Her new album, The Bride, recaptures the conceptual ambition of Two Suns, storytelling the misadventures of a woman whose fiancé has been killed in a crash on the way to their wedding. The songs are all stellar and hypnotic, inviting us to a rewarding journey through romance, horror, grief, and healing. It’s undoubtedly her record with less commercial appeal, but it will probably be seen in the years to come as one of the towering peaks of her musical career.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.