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Bat For Lashes

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  • Two Suns

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    Bat For Lashes

    two suns fur and gold

    Fur And Gold 8 ( 2007 )
    Horse And I / Trophy / Tahiti / What's A Girl To Do / Sad Eyes / The Wizard / Prescilla / Bat's Mouth / Seal Tubilee / Sarah / I Saw A Light

    Shakers and drums and the arrival of a new vocal talent. Natasha Khan has the kind of atmospheric and alluring voice not seen for many years. Her voice dominates this album, along with the often fairly minimal yet effective music, characterised by tribalesque soft drums and odd segments of percussion. I hear echoes of Siouxsie Sioux and of Bjork in these vocals. A song like 'What's A Girl To Do' for example opens with the Spector 'Be My Baby' drum pattern, then takes a left turn. An atmospheric tune with ghostly female vocals and 'haha' backing vocals. Heavy on echoey drums and closing again at the end with the Spector drum beat. As an aside, the Spector jury voted something like 10-2 to convict him of manslaughter or 2nd degree murder, whatever it was, so couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. It would be a shame to see his sparkling musical legacy tarnished. Anyway, 'Trophy' makes the most of the Bjork comparisons, sounding exactly like her vocally. You know, when Bjork is away from music doing whatever a Bjork does, fans of Bjork could well be advised to check out the likes of 'Trophy' on itunes to see if they like what they hear. My first thoughts upon hearing the album were to think of mentioning the word 'Gothic', but this is no Sisters Of Mercy album, here. Something like the piano ballad 'Sad Eyes' gets an award from me for being one of the loveliest tunes to appear on a new album this year.

    'Prescilla' is an almost jaunty shard of light amongst these nighttime moonlit tunes. 'Bat's Mouth' introduces lovely violins to accent Natasha's vocals. The album doesn't have the most variety in the world, so touches like this are welcome. 'Sarah' introduces a bass guitar groove, which pops up most unexpectedly given the piano plus atmospherics of the album so far. This mercury music award nominated album closes with a quiet six minute tune. 'I Saw A Light' takens a good three minutes to escape its heavy mystical spiritualism to emerge as a noisy, impassioned plea. Drama, talent and a unique sound. 'Bat For Lashes', aka Natasha Khan, are an act to watch.

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    Readers Comments

    John, County Kildare john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    2007 has been a fantastic year for PROPER music so far, and this is no exception. Now, if only I could get a few quid together to go on an insane music spending spree.... Thanks to my buddy in Anthropology for the listen to this one, a really, REALLY, fantastic band.

    Horse and I is one of the best album introductions i have heard in a very long time, although bats for lashes is almost awkwardly similar to bjork, it is still worth a listen

    David UK
    Saw them live at Victoria Park supporting Radiohead, they were pretty solid playing to so many people. I was thinking Kate Bush / Bjork's genetically developed love-child.

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    Two Suns 7 ( 2009 )
    Glass / Sleep Alone / Moon and Moon / Daniel / Piece of Mind / Siren Song / Pearl's Dream / Good Love / Two Planets / Traveling Woman / The Big Sleep

    Some acts are annoying for a reviewer, eg, when I type 'Hat For Lashes' for some reason instead of 'Bat' when I feel the need to touch type for example, even though really i'm not quite accurate enough to do so. Well, i'd almost, but not quite, qualify as a decent PA. Still, moving on, 'Bat For Lashes' follow-up the impressive headwear of their debut outing with an altogether more produced, full suit and power skirt kind of affair. Sure, this girl still has a voice that will make you shut up and sit up, yet to move too far into the middle of the highway so soon could be a mistake. The warblings of the largely tuneless opening cut 'Glass' would suggest so, at least. Far better is 'Daniel', Bat For Lashes sounds attractively like early Sinead O'Connor mixed with Siouxsie Sioux and this song at least has melody, the bass and vocals are key to making this one work.

    She sounds too much like Enya. Listen to 'Pearls', now Bat For Lashes didn't sound like this a couple of years ago but they do now? Sure, we've got vaguely experimental and funky beats, yet her voice is treated with far too much respect, the producers have let it just lie there, whispering in the grass. Having said this, some experimentation works better than some others. 'Two Planets' is deeply ambient experimental with percussive beats and her voice sounding somewhat lost. 'Moon For Moon' sounds like a distant Tori Amos cousin, most attractively so and 'Moon For Moon' therefore gets this viewers vote as the one to download if you must only pick just the one from 'Two Suns', the new (and not quite as good as the debut) album from Bat For Lashes.

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    Readers Comments

    Niall Edinburgh, Scotland
    I enjoyed this follow-up to Fur and Gold. The opener Glass oddly enough reminds me of late 70s Rush for some reason, especially with Natasha'slyrics, but also with the build up of drums. But when Natasha's voice soars it becomes undeniably a Bat for Lashes classic. Sleep Alone reminds me of a Groove Armada remix with a Sandy Denny vocal, or maybe Kate Rusby and The Lashes helps this to kick. Moon and moon is an absolute classic, the hanclaps are back. I think this is more like a Kate Bush than a Tori Amos track that understands a loneliness that knows no bounds, wonderful, wonderful music. Daniel reminds me of mid-seventies Fleetwood Mac and is a bit syrupy for my liking, but I would not detest it either. Piece of Mind, I cannot get into this track at all it just seems to be not naturally a Natasha-type track. Now we're back in form, Siren Song starts off like another piano ballad and develops into this monster, dark delicious electronics carry the cho! rus of the siren who has no control over her evil tendencies. Kudos to the Bat for Lashes drummer, she really bringsan amazing power to the music.Pearls Dream, I wouldnt be into the more commercial stuff to much, I think Natasha should concentrate on being an albums artist, rather than thinking of the next hit single potential. That said, Pearls Dream is directly connected to Siren Song. Good Love, this is my favourite sort of Natasha, taking the sort of ideas of say, Julie Cruise and Edith Frost. This is a slow builder using are very nice tinkling piano. The group always seems to be on the pulse with the latest ambient atmospherics using them excellently and adding to Natashas voice. Two Planets comes across a bit like Bjork for me, its ok, but I can imagine that the track is probably amazing in concert, it does sound like something from Bjorks Volta album. Travelling Woman picks it up for me again, a slow rockier builder that uses Natashas voice to a good effect, ! a piano ballad but with a good solid beat to it too. The clo! ser The Big Sleep is an interesting track too, although I cant help comparing this to Bjorks Volta again, the reason is she uses Scott Walker in a duet in the song much like Bjork uses Antony Hegarty. Still enjoyed more than half this album and if you ever get a chance check out Bat for Lashes live, this is where their strength lies, in their performance.

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    this page last updated 25/04/10

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