Bat for Lashes
By Micah McLain
Khan used to love telling fairy tales to her students as a nursery-school
teacher. Things have not changed much; now she simply goes by the name Bat for
Lashes and tells her stories to a growing number of older kids, albeit with a
wide range of musical accompaniment.
On Two Suns, her second LP, Khan
channels her alternate personality ("Pearl") to assist her in creating the
mystical, fantasy-driven soundscape that Bat for Lashes has come to inhabit.
Opener "Glass" sets the stage for the journey as Khan invites us into her world
while she rises into the streets in search of her "knight in crystal armor." A
monastery chant-like opening gives way to sparse, rhythmic percussion and
autoharp as Khan's mezzo soprano displays it's incredible range on chorus "When
two suns are shining/The battle becomes blinding/To be made of glass/But
we ride tonight/Tonight, tonight, we ride." All of the tracks on Two
Suns employ the same extremely rich, visual lyrics that draw the listener
into her songs.
Although her beautiful voice is the most noticeable
aspect of the recording, the intricate orchestral compositions flowing beneath
Khan's lyrics gradually reveal themselves. Standout track "Daniel" employs
finger-picked guitar, electronic beats and synthesizers (in addition to violin)
to lay the framework for Khan's ode to a lost lover that is always with her. "Peace of Mind" takes a different approach as Khan is joined by a small choir
and an acoustic guitar for a gospel track about her desire to become "a mother
for this childless world" when her time is done. On Two Suns, Bat for
Lashes once again transports the listener to a mystic land full of rich,
dream-like imagery and gorgeous pop constructions.
Bat For Lashes plays The Loft on August 17. Tickets are available at Ticket Alternative.