Tuesday, 13 November 2012

''The Haunted Man'' Bat For Lashes - A Review

From the very beginnings of the 00's, we have witnessed the rise of the female solo artist to dizzying heights, from chart topping performers such as Florence Welch, Lily Allen and Ellie Goulding to the acclaimed sounds of Joanna Newsom, Regina Spektor and Natasha Khan, aka Bat For Lashes. With the rise in popularity of these femme fatales, naturally (and often annoyingly) the tag of ''new Kate Bush'' has been thrown around quite a bit too much for anyone to take it seriously anymore. I'm not going to use it again, but I will say that if there was ever an artist to rival the artistic quality and vision of Bush in the past 12 years, it's been Khan, who continues her fine streak of releases this year with ''The Haunted Man''.

Following the critically acclaimed duo of ''Fur & Gold'' and ''Two Suns'', Bat For Lashes could seemingly do no wrong. A growing fanbase was ensured through lengthy touring and impressive support slots for both Radiohead and Coldplay, while she also found time to collaborate with Beck in between. All of which means that Khan has found her name increase in status, leading to considerable hype for her third studio effort this year. Usually this type of build up is a recipe for disaster or at the very least disappointment, but Khan's latest is a seemingly effortless collection of chilled electronic tunes.

''Lillies'' is a slow burning opener that sets a darkened atomsphere before latest single ''All Your Gold'' kicks the album into life, and Khan continues from here with the upbeat, almost playful sounds of ''Horses Of The Sun'' and ''Oh Yeah'', showcasing the Londoner's penchant for creating seriously danceable electro music, a feature of hers previously explored on signature hit ''Daniel''.

Things are slowed down for ''Laura'', the albums lead single as Khan uses just her piano and voice to create a haunting and poignant ballad, with a piano line and delivery reminiscent of Bush classic ''The Man With The Child In His Eyes''. It's raw, naked emotion at it's finest.

Following ''Laura'', Khan sets about finishing the second half of the album with a dreamy synth pop touch that makes for more excellent dream pop soundscapes in the form of ''A Wall'', ''Rest Your Head'' and closing track ''Deep Sea Diver'' as Khan croons her way to the end of a stunning conclusion.

Ultimately, ''The Haunted Man'' is a confident, sexy, intelligent statement that marks the completion of a superb trilogy of albums that has confirms Bat For Lashes presence among the elite in contemporary indie music. My reluctance to tag Khan as a newer version of past female greats in music is simply because to label her such would not only be disrespectful but also inaccurate due to the original, innovative style of her music.

Natasha Khan is not concerned with being the next Kate Bush, Bjork, or Tori Amos; she'd rather be the only Bat For Lashes.


No comments:

Post a Comment