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Review: Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

By River Reporter Oct 21, 2012

With her new album out, the award-winning Bat For Lashes is ready to sweep her fans off their feet once again. 

Doris Retfalvi 

You might know her from her beautifully strange videos, where she is either riding her bike with a bunch of weird creatures, or she is performing on a stage alongside a wolf. You might have found yourself humming one of her songs about this bloke called Daniel. Or you might have simply asked yourself: “What’s the deal with this new-age hippie?”

Half-British, half-Pakistani

To those still in a blur, Bat For Lashes, real name Natasha Khan, is a half-British, half-Pakistani singer and songwriter, whom many consider a contemporary and more romantic version of Björk. 

Although she kept us waiting for almost four years since the release of her previous album, Two Suns, Natasha took her time to make sure she brought a promising new sound in her next release. It is safe to say that the final result of The Haunted Man was worth the wait.

Folk, electronica, synthpop and indie pop

Out on October 15, The Haunted Man is her third studio album, successfully bringing together distinctive genres, such as folk and electronica, with hints of synthpop and indie pop. 

As a multi-instrumental virtuoso, she manages to take a fresh approach to her music with each song in the new album. Ranging from guitar and percussion to synthesiser and xylophone, Natasha has single-handedly built up her music from scratch.

Fear, salvation, hope, love and loss 

On top of this, Natasha brings her poetic side to the table by telling a story for each emotion. Her lyrics explore feelings of fear and salvation in Rest Your Head, hope in A Wall, love in Marilyn, and loss in The Haunted Man.

And of course, with each powerful return comes a powerful makeover.  The feathered tops and face paint that had been her signature style for years have been scrapped for a more natural look. The album cover shows her posing naked against a blank background, holding a man, who is also naked, around her neck. While this image may seem controversial, it also perfectly portrays themes such as protection and vulnerability, found throughout her new songs.

Natasha Khan remains faithful to her authentic sound in The Haunted Man, proving that hard work breeds great results. She has already started touring around the UK to promote her new album with countries like Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain next on the list.   

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