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Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls (Album Review)

Friday, 13 September 2019 Written by Jacob Brookman

Well, the new Bat for Lashes album is superb. Natasha Khan has mapped out a magical synth voyage into 1980s teen sci-fi horror, which marries her Home Counties purr with the 35mm joy of a Hollywood sound stage.

Among a number of soaring high points are the opener, Kids in the Dark, and the gorgeously danceable Feel For You. Here, jiving, nimble drums are adorned by hypnotic tubular bass and a mystical vocal motif that roughly translates as “I love ya, I feel for you / Ah ah ah ah oh.” This strange and compelling song recalls bootleg Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan remixes that used to float around North London in the mid 1990s. It’s stunning.

More broadly, Khan is in full concept album mode (as on her previous offering, 2016's 'The Bride') with the story based loosely on a gang of biker women who roam around L.A. at twilight.

The result is a cinematic record that acts as a bit of a tour of Khan’s musical passions. There’s a bit of Roxy Music here (Vampires) a lot of Giorgio Moroder there (So Good), and a dash of the Cure…well…everywhere.

As such, the album lands halfway between GTA: Vice City and the near-forgotten French zombie DJ Kavinsky. It’s an incredibly rich and compelling world; this is a record drenched in vintage cruise ship congas, warring siren synthesisers and so much reverb.

Actually, ‘Lost Girls’ has a lot in common with another recent release: Lana Del Rey’s ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell!’. Both albums feature music that feels directly programmed to occupy the same generic space as a particular hit TV show. With Del Rey’s album it is Twin Peaks: The Return. With ‘Lost Girls’ it is Stranger Things. 

This is clearly a rich creative stimulus for these artists, and one that represents the changing creative and commercial landscape: write the soundtrack without the images. It might sound contrived, but if the results are as good as this, then it doesn’t matter.

Bat For Lashes Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu November 21 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Town Hall Birmingham
Sat November 23 2019 - EDINBURGH Queens Hall Edinburgh
Sun November 24 2019 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Tue November 26 2019 - LONDON EartH
Thu November 28 2019 - BRIGHTON St Bartholomews Church

Click here to compare & buy Bat For Lashes Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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