Bat For Lashes

Bat For Lashes

Bat For Lashes

Two Suns

Astralwerks

For those who admire Björk, but find her music a bit too galactic… For folks whose hearts melt at the sound of Sarah McLachlan’s voice, but who don’t always want the waves of depression that accompany her lyrics… For fans of Tori Amos, who love the way she wraps her tongue around a microphone and near-humps the piano keys, but who aren’t always in the mood for the fairy princess aspect of her persona… discover Natasha Khan, also known as Bat For Lashes.

With her second album, Two Suns, this virtual unknown out of England has whipped up the first real knock-out of 2009. It’s sexy, transcendental, danceable, mystical, sultry, soulful, and innovative all in one fell swoop. It’s the sort of album that gives good reason to disappear into for days at a time.

With more ambition, and greater risk, than her bold and promising debut (2006’s Fur and Gold), Khan leads us down the rabbit hole on opening ethereal fairy tale “Glass,” and never lets up. At times she sounds as new agey and harmless as Lorenna McKennit, like when she’s knee deep in Middle Eastern and Celtic undertones on “Two Planets.” Other moments she’s fit to bursting with erotic ache, as on the album’s best and brightest, “Sleep Alone.” And when she reaches into the pockets of her mind and pulls out a song like “Pearl’s Dream,” or the inexplicably Karate Kid-inspired “Daniel,” we should all feel lucky just to be allowed to listen.

The music, the lyrics, the blurring of nationalities — her father’s from Pakistan, her mother is English, yet she sounds sort of Irish — it’s almost too perfect. Closing out this flawless record is a soft, piano lullaby that pairs Khan’s voice with that of the mysterious and enigmatic Scott Walker.

2009 should belong to Bat For Lashes, and Natasha Khan is a siren poised to lull us all into a gorgeous trance.

Bat For Lashes: www.batforlashes.com

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