Bat For Lashes: Two Suns
Enya and Björk got together one night. They met in the moonlight, riding unicorns, and catapulted into outer space upon recognition of each other. When they returned, they placed an egg upon the earth. The egg cracked, sputtered, and then wilted as a woman bloomed out of it. Her name is Natasha Khan, the haunting singer behind Bat for Lashes. The renaissance fairy has recently come out with her sophomore album Two Suns, and it is just about as strange as the folktale you just read. Fact is though, strange is good in the music world, and thankfully Khan has plenty of strange and good to share.
The opening song, “Glass,” creeps onto the stage as Khan’s gorgeous voice gets slowly dragged out into a wave of simple and beautiful sound. Epic lyrics accompany Bat For Lashes’ minimalist approach to music; there are simply splashes of synths, drums, and piano. Khan chants lingering and outlandish lyrics, Went over the sea/What did I find?/A thousand crystal towers, a hundred emerald cities/And the hand of the watchman/In the night sky/Points to my beloved/A knight in crystal armor. When Nightwish decides they want to set down the metal guitar, they will sound like Bat For Lashes.
Taking it slow is something that Bat for Lashes does well. However, when Khan chooses to pick up the beat, it sounds good. “Pearl’s Dream” sounds similar to Kate Nash with its peppy drum section and memorable chorus. Pearl, by the way, is Khan’s alter ego. Plenty of strange. Plenty of good.
As a romantic, some of the epic lyrics can start to become difficult to wade through. It starts to get old after lines like “Into our love the tears crept” and “I have a heart that’s full of light to be shared/On this night, feel my hands, feel my love.” The love-soaked lyrics ruin songs like “Daniel,” which is probably the catchiest song on the album.
Ultimately, the experimental ambient electronica-folk musician is definitely worth a listen. Sadly, as the album drags on, Pearl, Khan, Bat For Lashes, whoever, loses the initial pull of “Glass.” By the end of the Two Suns, it was frustrating that Khan hadn’t produced another, quicker song like “Pearl’s Dream” to accompany “Travelling Woman” and “The Big Sleep” (which is bound to put you to sleep unless you were expecting slow and classical).
Though there is a lack of upbeat tempos, Khan offers beautiful and dark tunes. She is the queen of whatever this style of music is, and I can only hope that she expands it to reach a more diverse audience than druids and dragons.
Recommended Songs: Glass, Pearl’s Dream, Siren Song
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