Bat For Lashes becomes the eponymous narrator - embodying the tragic Warholian heroine - on ‘The Bride’, her fourth studio album. Alter-egos aren’t an original trope for Natasha Khan, having dabbled in the fabled and otherworldly on her first two records, yet ‘The Bride’ feels like a culmination of Natasha’s many idiosyncrasies, blending decadent sexuality with heartrending emotion. Turns out this version is the most compelling version of Bat For Lashes to date.
While the lyricism on ‘The Bride’ foregoes the allegorical nature of her past work, opting instead for a more minimalist writing style, sonically it’s a genre-bending jaunt through desert drylands. In ‘In God’s House’, Natasha’s honey-sweet vocal transmutes to a siren-cry, backed by dusky synths and reverb.
It’s tonally the antithesis to opener ‘I Do’, the rose-tinted prologue to the ominous climax. ‘Sunday Love’ is nothing like the title would suggest, instead opting for a Suicide-style, fuzzy bassline and heady percussion. It’s abundantly clear that death and calamity doesn’t breed one singular sentiment for Natasha; it’s all encompassing. Take the orchestral kook of ‘Close Encounters’, an ode to the sensations of the other side.
‘The Bride’ is a stellar soundtrack to the complexities of womanhood within the institution of marriage, a triumph of raw intensity.
Words: Shahzaib Hussain
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