Natasha Khan reveals her winning road with ballads on these principles album about a jilted bride
Bat for Lashes Natasha Khan returns in most varied garment for her fourth book, swapping black ceremonial attire for white. Last listen ululating on 2015 s highly entertaining psych-rock side project, Sexwitch, this latest book opens with Disney arpeggios and girly pacts on romantic adore, with a bride-to-be dreaming her happily-ever-after as a kind of rebirth.
Previewing this concept album with a series of gigs in churches dressed all in lily-white, Khan has a most tragic and complex storey to tell, nonetheless. The books standout track, In Gods House, is all grim electronics, Khans otherworldly express run through with premonition. This bride will be jilted at the altar when her beau is killed in a traffic accident on his channel to the wed. Cue dashed hopes, shrivelled buds, epic panda eyes.
What happens next is a kind of existential superhighway movie for one, in which despite the dangers of automobile advance Khans bride goes on a masochistic honeymoon, with herself. Ill always be the girl that was repudiated, she sings, as angelic backing vocalists afford a girl-group Greek chorus.
As though in a dream world Khan is exceptionally good at dream worlds The Bride ruminates over her cherish and its loss in a series of hovering, swelling ballads that somehow do not cloy. This fantasy position get a little Sexwitch-y on pivotal trail Widows Peak pink virtuosoes do burst is probably the most overt reference to any kind of fruition on this strangely chaste record.
By contrast, If I Knew is one of those piano ballads that fans of Bat for Lashes best-known ballad, Laura, are always expecting. Classily, it refuses to rhyme age with climb where a mountain is implied; a Stevie Nicks-ish, 70 s vibe lurks simply offstage.
The denouement is perhaps not as dramatically slaking as you would hope. Does our death-jilted bride karate knocked her lane through a wedding gathering, railing against an industry valued at circa 10 bn a year that sells overpriced imaginations to cheat Bridezillas, while singing Whitney Houstons The Greatest Love of All? Nah.
She will cherish again, Khan trills on one of the strongest vocal melodies on the book. Shes coming home, by herself to herself. By the final trail, In Your Bed, our protagonist has put her partying days behind her; its a little unclear whether shes investing time in her own bottom, finally entire of herself or someone elses.