Album Review: Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
I have a genuine belief that more people have heard the name Bat For Lashes more than have heard her music. Natasha Khan, Ms. For Lashes herself, has been showered with acclaim since emerging onto the music scene and despite a top 40 hit in ‘Daniel’, has never really crossed over into any massive commercial consciousness. ‘The Haunted Man’, her anticipated third record (and first with a bob, hair fans) isn’t quite up to the job of making her the next Rihanna, but it’s certainly going to continue spreading that name across the tongues of music critics and sonic aficionados alike.
You may hear many harping on about how the album is a body of work and should not be tampered with, but regardless there are a few tunes that will have you coming straight back – lead single ‘Laura’ is one of the most beautiful, simple arrangements in Khan’s catalogue, meanwhile ‘Winter Fields’ has plenty more going on and it results in a recurring crescendo that is sure to make your heart miss a beat.
‘Deep Sea Diver’ takes pride of place as the record’s closer and despite it’s obvious beauty, doesn’t place the necessary excitement alongside the experimental quite like the record’s title track. ‘Rest Your Head’ pulls off some peculiarly electro-urban touches and brings forth a pretty catchy chorus with a touch of euphoria – something that is also evident in ‘A Wall’, a prime example of Khan’s expert lyrical abilities. They’re amongst the growers on the record, joined by the sultry ‘Marilyn’ and second single ‘All Your Gold’.
From the electronic touches pulsating through ‘Lilies’ to the familiar chanting, bells and themes of ‘Horses of the Sun’, Bat For Lashes brings her two previous records together on ‘The Haunted Man’ and ensures she doesn’t tread the same ground, but stays true to the unique artist we’ve come to love. As is her way, Natasha Khan’s third record doesn’t strike instantly but has enough moments of instant genius and undercurrents of magnificence to find it’s way into your ipod and earn it’s place there for some time to come.
Words: Simon McMurdo