Music News

Bat for Lashes

Natasha Khan, who performs under the Bat for Lashes banner, is part of a distinctive sorority — one populated by high-flown warblers with a taste for ornate lyrical fantasies. The style's tricky to master, since even minor miscalculations can turn potentially quirky and creative airs into something teeth-grindingly coy and cutesy. Fortunately, Khan generally stays on the positive side of this equation throughout 2006's Fur and Gold, a finalist for the U.K.'s Mercury Prize; like Amy Winehouse, Bat lost out to Klaxons (see page 72). Beats contribute to Khan's success: "What's a Girl to Do?" uses a "Be My Baby" cadence to anchor its tale of a love capable of making her "bat lightning heart" take to the sky, while "Prescilla" sports an undeniably infectious clap-track. Other songs are closer calls: As many folks are likely to be annoyed as beguiled by "The Wizard," a leisurely shuffle yoked to lyrics about "trembling midnight lands" and blood-drinking. Nevertheless, Khan, joined this Friday by Chris Chavez, remains a promising new member of the chanteuse sisterhood.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts