Bat for Lashes – The Bride
Natasha Khan, popularly known as Bat for Lashes, makes her mark as the modern Romantic of whimsical, electronic pop in this hypnotic album of doomed love, loss, grief and self-discovery. Previewing the release in churches wearing white gowns, she seems to have looked to Miss Havisham for inspiration. The record follows the story of a bride whose husband dies on the day of her wedding. The songs capture the sensations of this bride: her excitement at the prospect of her marriage, grief at the loss her groom on the wedding day and self-discovery as she pieces herself back together. Often the sweetest songs are those that share the saddest thoughts; Khan’s album delights in the shadow of pleasure existing in pain, with her lyrical expression of the subconscious and the magical.
It begins with a bride-to-be’s dreamy vision of her wedding in I Do, then the tone swiftly changes with Joe’s Dream, in which the groom foresees his death. The lyrics are melodramatic: like Kate Bush, the singer seems to be inspired by the tumultuous affair of Cathy and Heathcliff as her lover looks through her window in the “gloomy night”. The ominous electronic beats of God’s House spiral the album further into a dream-like haze of misery, as the “fog of death” consumes the groom. The otherworldly expression of the bride’s grief is perfectly conveyed with her piercing falsetto “fire, fire” at the end of the track.
The album is theatrical in theme but not necessarily in composition. The words carry an intense power, but often the vocals and instruments are understated. The songs’ content marks a progression in the story, but rhythmically they often blend into one another. It is not an album of hits – few songs stand out when listened to alone. Having said that, Khan’s haunting words create a visual landscape, especially on tracks such as Widow’s Peak, where she roves into the realm of the metaphysical, reciting a poem. The story behind the album transforms what could otherwise have been a series of clichéd love ballads into a compelling listening experience.
The Bride is released on 1st July 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for In God’s House here: