Natasha Khan, better known as Bat For Lashes, has been rather quiet over the past few years, but her new album 'The Haunted Man'- her first record since 2009- will be released on October 23rd. Speaking to Spinner she explained her hiatus, which lasted longer than planned. Said that she “felt desperate about the record quite a lot of the time... it wasn't coming easily. [She] almost lost [her] way. Maybe the hardest records are the best in the end. But this record definitely made [her] bleed for it.”
Speaking to the Observer in September she said "I feel like I'm at the crux of something quite special. There's a feeling in the air which is different to the other two. I feel like I'm reaching something." And it looks as though the Guardian agrees with her, giving her an impressive 4/5 stars. Their review remarks specifically on the contrast between this album and her work that preceded it. Alex Petidris said: “Gone are the horses, head-dresses, candles and hippy accessories, the stuff that could cause a passer-by to label her kooky, one of the most dispiriting adjectives in the English language.”
The album cover reflects this dramatic change in style and substance, a black and white photograph of a naked Khan, with a naked man draped over her shoulders like a fox shawl, and as Petridis says 'the cover matches the contents.' The Haunted Man is minimalist and refined and reminiscent of School of Seven Bells. Dare we say it, Bat for Lashes has grown up. A cliché, for sure, but not a fallacy.
In promotions for the album, Khan has also done a cover of Rihanna and Calvin Harris's hit 'We Found Love' with Zane Lowe on Radio 1. Like the album, she's stripped back the original to a very raw, and rather beautiful state. Haunting in itself.
Bat For Lashes is on tour throughout October and November, across the UK and then throughout Europe.