It’s hard to believe, until today, that I had not heard of the band Bat for Lashes, considering how closely I follow the art and music scenes… especially considering how similar our lives have been, in relation to one another (after reading her biography). Floored by the single Daniel, off the newest release Two Suns, I immediately felt compelled the need to obtain this masterpiece. For me, there have been few bands that communicate and speak to me on this level, that I experienced today.
At first listen, the music connected with me emotionally and put me almost in a euphoric state (an almost Dalí-like dreamscape)… next the beats and vocals captured my heart. It was like sonic art, to which I have only found present in the playful compilations by Bjork, and yet it is still quite its own entity.
Natasha Khan, the lead singer of Bat for Lashes, has an amazing talent for creating highly sophisticated sonic and visual communication. This should come as no surprise, considering her passionate graduate work within the art field. Her layered vocals and almost classical industrial mixed with techno approach to recording, provide little special places within the piece of music as a whole.
Two Suns, is highly based on the concept of the duality in everything (growing up in two different cultures). It is a reflected journey and struggle of a conflicted child trying to understand the world around her. It is from this duality, that one of the most beautiful creative works I have ever heard was born. It says something about struggle and the beauty of life, to me.
While some says this is the record that could turn Khan into a pop-star and that is shows no artistic breakthrough, I bid you another listen… what I hear is not only a symbolic story, but a true piece of living art. How many musicians and artists can say they ever created and crafted something with so much care that is took on a life of its own? I have heard the phrase, “to create great art you have to be a great illusionist or liar”, in a sense. True, Kahn is a masterful illusionist about creating a new sonic world, but the fact that she adds real life experience to the meaning gives the music validity and feeling. She shares a large part of herself with her audience, and for that, I am extremely grateful.