Bat For Lashes — Lost Girls (Sept. 6, 2019) Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)♠      Pro své nové album Lost Girls se Natasha Khan ponořila do zvukového a vizuálního světa filmů 80. let, rychlých pohybů a doprovodných zvukových doprovodů. Výsledkem je fascinující syntezátorová zvuková scéna, která pociťujeme jako nadčasovou a trvalou.
Vyhýbá se cestě zpětného vracení, které by se dalo snadno zrušit, místo toho nabízí známé zvuky, které jsou příjemně poutavé. Všechny verze přicházejí s jedním bonusovým trackem na CD — Desert Man (Piano Vocal) — alt verzí alba. Páté album „Ztracené dívky“ jsou dalším celovečerním skvostem v neuvěřitelě uznávané diskografii Nataši Khan, která mísí zvuky, jak to vždy milovala — těžké basové linie, syntetická arpeggia, íránské popové rytmy, kaskádové sbory — s některými ze svých dosud nejlepších skladeb písní. Je to album plné romantiky, pocta Los Angeles, dětství v 80. letech, filmů, které se dotkly a změnily její život. Lost Girls překonává 10 skladeb a vidí, jak Khan sní o svém vlastním plně utvářeném paralelním vesmíru a vytvoří tak nekontrolovatelný film o věku, ve kterém se po ulicích potulují gangy záškodnických motorkářek, teenageři rozeznávají kapoty aut a silná kouzla ženské energie. A nechají v nás stopy, abychom je následovali.
↓↑∇↓↑       Dokážu mluvit jen o svém demografickém věku tím, že uvedu, že je něco tak uspokojivého, když slyším tyto zvuky znovu tak krásně složené. Nakonec je „Lost Girls“ impozantní a přístupné albíčko, které je stylisticky daleko od epického, smutně naloženého „The Bride“ jejího předešlého výletu. „Ztracené dívky“ opouštějí posluchače v naději, že se neztratí doopravdy a že to není poslední, co jsme slyšeli od „Bat for Lashes“.
Birthname: Natasha Khan
Nationality: British
Born: October 25 1979
Location: Brighton, England, Great Britain
Instruments: Vocals, piano, bass, guitar, synthesiser, autoharp, percussion, xylophone
Album release: Sept. 6, 2019
Record Label: Awal Recordings
Duration:     38:29
01. Kids in the Dark   3:30
02. The Hunger   4:59
03. Feel for You   3:40
04. Desert Man   3:26
05. Jasmine   2:56
06. Vampires   3:02
07. So Good   3:33
08. Safe Tonight   4:17
09. Peach Sky   4:35
10. Mountains   4:31
Bat for Lashes: ‘I didn’t know if I was going to make an album again’
By Cazz Blase — August 16, 2019 — Score: 9/10
Ξ     For her new album, Lost Girls, Natasha Khan has dived headlong into the sonic and visual worlds of 1980s teen flicks and their accompanying soundtracks. The result is a beguiling synth fuelled soundscape that feels both timeless and enduring.
♠      The music of Bat for Lashes has always been highly atmospheric, encompassing as it often does elements of folk and Fleetwood Mac on one hand and Nick Cave and middle eastern percussion and instrumentation on the other. While Natasha Khan has certainly made use of the synthesiser before on her records, Lost Girls still feels like a marked departure. On one hand it is very much a Bat for Lashes album but, on the other, it feels like uncharted territory.
♠      The initial moments of opening track and first single ‘Kids in the dark’ echo the sonic complexities of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s score for the 1983 film Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, and this sonic fascination with 1980s films can be heard all over the album, from the cinematic complexities of ‘The Hunger’ and ‘Jasmine’ to the instrumental piece ‘Vampires’, which feels like an unused track from The Lost Boys soundtrack.
♠      This is by no means a bad thing: ‘The Hunger’ is one of the strongest tracks on the album, with a muscular synth pop complexity and pretty percussive detail that only underline its epic nature. It might sound a bit like the soundtrack to an unmade John Hughes film, but it’s also timeless, the sound of imagination and yearning running free.
♠      ‘Jasmine’, despite sharing some of the same musical DNA as ‘The Hunger’, is a lush dance floor tour de force, both mesmerising and vampishly seductive. It features elements of half whispered spoken word, underlining the 1980s feel and showcasing Khan at her best.
♠      ‘Vampires’, meanwhile, features menacing electro drums, Cocteau Twins esque jagged guitar work and a mournful saxaphone refrain that enhances its cinematic brooding.
♠      It’s not all brooding soundscapes though: ‘Feel for you’ is a synth powered percussive dance floor filler with a frenetic energy that shows Khan isn’t afraid to have fun. It also favourably reflects her love of the film A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and its soundtrack. ‘So Good’ is fairly straightforward synth pop with delicate melodic details and interesting percussion while the ambitious ‘Peach Sky’ has a complexity and wistfulness of tone that is excitingly experimental and which perfectly compliments the tentative exploration of feelings that appears to be taking place in the lyrics.
♠      The electric piano led slice of prettiness and atmosphere that is ‘Desert Man’ feels more familiar Bat For Lashes territory whereas closing track ‘Mountains’ begins as a stripped down, piano led song that is intimate in scale but which then gradually builds into a cathedral of sound through added layers of vocal and synthesiser. It’s a fittingly ambitious end to an album that has seen Khan experiment musically and run free with her imagination.  ♠
Killian Fox, Sat 17 Aug 2019 18.00 BST Last modified on Sun 18 Aug 2019 18.15 BST
≡•≡     Natasha Khan on her ambition to direct a horror film and the influence of California on her new record Lost Girls.
Bat for Lashes is the stage name of Natasha Khan, who was born in London in 1979 to an English mother and a Pakistani father. Raised in Hertfordshire, she studied music and visual arts at the University of Brighton and worked as a nursery school teacher for four years before committing to music full~time. A rich seam of theatricality was woven into her songwriting from the start, taking shape in elaborate outfits and intense stage performances. Three of her four Bat for Lashes albums to date, including 2006 debut Fur and Gold, have been nominated for the Mercury prize (Khan also released an album via her side project Sexwitch in 2015). Her latest album, Lost Girls, comes out next month.
Q:    You’ve talked about wanting this new album to be fun, full of romance and more commercial. How did it come about?
A:    I had moved away from London, where I’d lived for seven years, and finished my contract with EMI. My plan initially was to go to Los Angeles to focus on scriptwriting and doing music for film. The first song on the album, Kids in the Dark, was actually written for a Stephen King TV series [Castle Rock] — but the music supervisor Charles [Scott] and I had such a good time that we decided to keep meeting. I didn’t even know whether I was going to make an album again — I wanted to have a real break and leave everything behind me. And so when this album started happening, it was sort of a secret — and nobody really knew about it until it was nearly done.
Q:    Was there an overarching concept?
A:    I was developing a script for a film called The Lost Girls. It was heavily influenced by 80s children’s films and vampire films, many set in Portland and California. But as the songs progressed, I felt like I was writing the film soundtrack. Music does tend to overtake film ideas, as it comes out much more easily.
Q:    Which 80s films did you have in mind?
A:    The Lost Boys, obviously, is a close link, and seeing LA’s hazy sunsets is making me think of films like ET and The Goonies. Moving to LA, I’ve basically been plonked inside the sets of all the films I loved as a kid.
Q:    What switched you on to music?
A:    I saw Michael Jackson on his Bad tour when I was nine, with my mum, and I remember his Thriller video coming out — that was really exciting. And later on, seeing how pop musicians like Kate Bush and David Bowie were using the more theatrical aspects of music had a big influence on me. At art college, the way we approached music was very closely linked with visual art and performance. With my first band I said, “I want us to make headdresses”, and so we’d go down to the haberdashery and buy a bunch of sequins and old lady brooches in antique shops. It was a hodgepodge and it probably didn’t even make sense, but I was trying to figure out how we were going to stand out on stage and express ourselves in a playful way.
Q:    What’s been the most surreal experience of your career so far?
A:    It’s always surreal when people I love come to shows, like Björk turning up to one of my first big shows in London, or seeing Tilda Swinton in the audience. Or supporting Radiohead on tour — as a teenager I was listening to The Bends every day on the train to school, and then 10 years later I’m supporting them around Europe. It’s also surreal when I make a video based on something I’ve had in my imagination for a really long time, and then I find myself stepping into my own dream. Who gets to do that?
Q:    Who are your dream collaborators?
A:    I would love to write a script with Ari Aster who directed Hereditary and Midsommar, or Jordan Peele [director of Get Out and Us]. I really like this new genre of sophisticated horror that’s coming out at the moment, so I would love to direct a script I’d co~written with one of those guys.
Q:    Have you acclimatised to California?
A:    I do love LA for its landscapes and light, and the optimism and ambition of the people, but being English I’m very aware that I probably couldn’t exist there for a long time. I miss the seasons, the grittiness and the English sense of humour. And part of the reality in America is having no health insurance. And heat that melts the pavements and so much traffic and smog. But there’s no perfect place.
Q:    By temperament, do you lean towards sunny Californian optimism or British gloom?
A:    I go between the two. I think this album is demonstrating a side of me that’s happy and loves to dance, laugh and be silly — that’s a big part of who I am. I spent a long time trawling the depths and the darkness in my music. But being in LA, maybe it has liberated that side of me that is more fun.
Q:    Do you keep up with the news?
A:    I’m obviously aware of things that are happening, but I don’t give a lot of time and energy to it, because it’s become such a big ball of knots. We used to think that we could rely on things we saw in the news to be real, but at the moment everything’s being exposed as lies and no one seems to really know what’s going on. It adds a lot to my anxiety and confusion, so I think my time is much better spent creating work that is quite positive and sublimating all these worries into something a bit more productive.
Q:    You’re approaching your 40s. How do you feel about it?
A:    There’s a side of me that can’t believe I’m going to be 40, because I feel so young, and because what I do tethers me to a part of my psyche that’s full of childlike wonder. There’s a sadness about accepting that you’re getting older, and the way society views age doesn’t help. But when I think about all the people I have admired, film~makers and writers, they only get better with age. For me, I feel doors are only opening, not closing.