Bat for Lashes online
Bat for Lashes performs an intimate international concert from her Los Angeles home. In a pinafore dress in sky blue (complete with drifting clouds), she sits at her keyboard and synth station, contrasting against the warm red of her home background, a lamp glowing next to her. Her hands are adorned with bright pink nail varnish and numerous silver rings, completing her whimsical look.
The British and Pakistani multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter has a delicate magic. At first, her small ASMR-hippy voice, with its unapologetic openness and creativity, and her singing style, which flattens the ends of notes, may seem bemusing. Opening with All Your Gold and a cover of the Carpenters’ We’ve Only Just Begun, it’s pretty but it’s not until a rendition of Close Encounters (from 2016’s The Bride, a concept album that sees a bride lose her fiancé in a car crash on the way to their wedding), with the artist caressing a synth and weaving a spell with her voice, that the haunting, fragile majesty of her work comes through. She works best in the off-kilter worlds of her own creation. Close Encounters is followed by a reworked version of What’s a Girl to Do? from debut album Fur and Gold, one of the most striking songs of her early career. It pays homage to influences like The Shangri-Las and Twin Peaks, whom she mentions in her introduction. This version is adapted so that she can play the Wall of Sound-produced song on just keys, and she fondly reminisces about the techniques in the recording that recall Phil Spector. The difference between Bat for Lashes and those 60s girl groups and Laura Palmer is that she writes the narratives she stars in: any darkness is of her own design.
She plays a version of Let’s Get Lost, recorded with Beck for the Twilight soundtrack, which is an unexpected treat, with doom-laden synths leading to some glossolalia-type singing, redolent of Kate Bush. The show is intimate, its star confiding in her audience about the emotions in her working processes, and giving an insight into a life that is both technically musical and moving.
She finishes with Deep Sea Diver, which she never plays live due to it being such a complex song in the production. Here, the stripped-down version is like a lullaby. Bat for Lashes claims to be nervous, after not performing live for nearly a year, but it doesn’t show.
For further information and future events visit Bat for Lashes’s website here.
Watch the video for the single What’s a Girl to Do? here: