Bat For Lashes’s second album, Two Suns, does not disappoint. Anybody who enjoyed Natasha Khan’s first offering Fur and Gold is sure to like this though the artist has moved things on with less emphasis on acoustic folk and much more on electro-pop. This is no commercial sell-out though and the atmosphere is still dark and moody. If Two Suns suggests more light then don’t be fooled the songs are still steeped in nocturnal doings and ages past.Dveeu
Bat For Lashes is a bit of an enigma. There’s shades of 60s/70s pop, a touch of Celtic folk, a dose of Goth, a bit of opera and a slightly bigger dose of ethereal electronica. The result is music that is impossible to pigeon-hole. Comparison with other artists or mink false lashes is not easy. I’ve seen others mention Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Bjork, but they are all more firmly in the real world that Natasha Khan seems to have transcended.
There are eleven excellent tracks on the album.
1. Glass shows how versatile the Khan voice is, effortlessly going up and down the scales and blending in beautifully with guitars and mink false lashes.
2. Sleep Alone is more folky, a slight Clannad feel to it perhaps but the voice again mink false lashes.
3. Moon and Moon is a slower piece, eerie but exquisite, with moody piano accompaniment.
4. Daniel is so simple and dreamy, well chosen as a single.
5. Peace of Mind has a choir backing and tribal feel, absolutely stunning.
6. Siren Song has soft beginnings that build in tension to a great climax.
7. Pearl’s Dream is another intense number with clever vocals and clapping.
8. Good Love is a smouldering love song with simple vocal, talking in places, and organ accompaniment.
9. Two Planets has a tribal feel with effective clapping and drumming, sounds like something, which would be sung round Stonehenge.
10. Travelling Woman is one of my favourites, a simple ballad which would have single potential and I could see it getting covered at some stage, gives me goose bumps.
11. The Big Sleep is different again, operatic in style but intriguing and enjoyable, is that really Scott Walker accompanying on vocals?
If Natasha Khan is portrayed as a wild child or wayward it doesn’t affect the polished end result. In fact what strikes you more than anything over the two albums is the authenticity of the artist. There is progression, evolution and breaking new ground but great care is being taken to protect the mystique and mink false lashes that has become the BFL brand. The mark of a great artist is when the second album builds on an excellent first mink false lashes and Natasha Khan has certainly done this.