Bat For Lashes: The Bride (Parlophone) Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Bat For Lashes

The Bride

Parlophone

Jul 05, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Puzzlement gives way to fascination when absorbing Natasha Khan’s new album as Bat For Lashes. The unambiguous titles of the album, The Bride, and opening track, “I Do,” lead you to think that maybe Khan devoted an entire project to the subject of her own marriage. Always having kept her romantic life private, this would have been an about face of transparency. The album is in fact an allegorical soundtrack to Khan’s own story about the fatal car crash of a groom on his way to his wedding and the world of aftershock that besets the bride. Along with a short film that premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and the written text of the story are theatrical performances set in churches in select locations. The ambitiously creative leap is a culmination of sorts from a winding path of the heroines of Khan’s songwriting, whose encounters have acquainted them with love’s many transcendent attributes and trappings. The theme surrounds how tragedy upends an occasion with the sole purpose of honoring love and togetherness, abruptly forcing someone to process the devastation of sudden incomprehensible loss. In this respect it is intended to be absorbed as a wholesomething of a vanishing experience in this on-the-go era of downloading and playlists.

Khan is like predecessors Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush, with a kind of voice that floats in on a breeze and dances up and down on its current in the manner of a seagull. When her voice appears there’s often a feeling of surrender and immersion in the setting. As with past Bat For Lashes releases, wide orchestral watercolor brush strokes are her friend, providing ethereality to underpin her vocal presence. “Land’s End,” which along with its adjoining chapter, “If I Knew,” stand on their own, independently from their place in the storyline, on the merits of their beauty alone. The peak of her artistry is her ability to bring home existential gravitas through impassioned lift in her register. Her ways of projecting emotion have always been a distinguishing characteristic.

The closer “I Will Love Again” flows to the steady rhythm of a heart still beating, an earnest declaration of coming to terms with the loss of something that can never truly be replaced, galvanized by an undaunted clarity of someone who’s made the decision not to be taken under. At this conclusion, the essential theme of the project emerges as a contextualization of all of the stages and manifestations of romantic love. With this reading, The Bride can be understood as a narrative vehicle of the full spectrum of the human condition of amorous experience. (www.batforlashes.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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