Tag: Bat for Lashes

Natasha Khan is a Brighton, UK-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, known as the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo recording project Bat For Lashes — and for being the vocalist for Sexwitch, a collaboration with the members of British psych rock act TOY and producer Dan Carey. Born to an English mother, Josie and Pakistani squash player Rehmat Khan, Natasha Khan traces some of the influences of her musical career to attending her father’s and her uncle’s Jahangir’s squash matches, which she felt inspired her creativity: “The roar of the crowd is intense; it is ceremonial, ritualistic. I feel like the banner got passed to me but I carried it on in a creative way. It is a similar thing, the need to thrive on heightened communal experience.” Her father left when she was 11, and she taught herself to play the piano, which quickly became an important channel to express things, to get them out.

Khan’s debut single “The Wizard” was released digitally through Drowned in Sound Records and on seven-inch vinyl through her own imprint, She Bear Records. By 2006, she caught the attention of Echo Label, a record label owned by Chrysalis Records that acted as an incubator for emerging artists and assisting their careers while moving them to major labels. Echo released her debut, 2006’s Fur and Gold. The following year, Khan and Echo signed an international licensing deal with Parlophone Records, who re-released Fur and Gold that year. The album reached #48 on the UK Albums Charts and since its release, it’s been certified gold. Building upon a growing profile, the British singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer played at Glastonbury Festival and toured across the States. The album was shortlisted for that year’s Mercury Prize, losing to Klaxons’ Myths of the Near Future, despite being critically applauded and named a heavy favorite to win. She won ASCAP’s Vanguard Award, which resulted in her performing at their “ASCAP Presents . .  .” SXSW showcase.

2008 continued an incredible run by the British singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist as she was notated for two Brit Awards — British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist. She opened handful of dates for Radiohead, and she released a cover of The Cure’s “A Forest,” which appeared on the Perfect as Cats charity album.

Khan’s sophomore album, 2009’s David Kosten and Khan-co-produced Two Suns was inspired by a trip she took to Joshua Tree, CA. The album focuses on her desert-born alter ego Pearl, whose personality she adopted while living in New York. Sonically, the material was inspired by the Brooklyn bands that had started to receive attention nationally and internationally at the time — in particular, TV on the Radio, MGMT, Gang Gang Dance and others. Interestingly, the album also found her collaborating with the members of Yeasayer, who contributed bass and beat programming. The album debuted at #5 on the UK Albums Chart and has since been certified gold as a result of “Daniel,” which peaked at #36 on the UK Singles Chart. “Daniel” later won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song and was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year. Additionally, Khan received her second Mercury Prize nomination and a second BRIT Award nomination for British Female Solo Artist.

Summer 2009 saw her play at Glastonbury Festival, Somerset House and the iTunes Festival, which was followed by a special edition of Two Suns, which was released ahead of her October UK tour an included a cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”

Khan’s third Bat for Lashes album, 2012’s The Haunted Man debuted at #6 on the UK Albums Chart, her second consecutive Top 10 album, an effort that has since been certified silver. Khan was nominated for her third Best British Solo Female BRIT Award and was nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards — Best Song Musically and Best Song Lyrically for album single “Laura.” That year saw her play at Coachella Festival. She also opened for Blur and Depeche Mode.

During a surprise 2015 Green Man Festival set in Wales, Khan debuted her collaboration with Dan Carey and TOY — Sexwitch. That September, the project released its self-titled debut through Echo and BMG, which featured six covers of 1970s psych and folk from different parts of the world.

2016 saw the release of her fourth full-length album The Bride, an album that was nominated for the Mercury Prize.

Khan’s fifth album Lost Girls was released last fall through AWAL Recordings, and the album continues a run of concept albums: in this case, the material was centered around an off-kilter coming of age film, in which bands of marauding female biker gangs roam the streets — and teenagers make out on car hoods. The female characters throughout are parallel to the protagonists of her previously released albums — most notably, the street tough, darkness-driven Pearl from Two Suns. The album’s main character Nikki Pink, was one of the album’s central Lost Girls. And at its core, the album thematically is a loving and romantic homage to all things Los Angeles, being a child of the 80s and the films that influenced Khan. Sonically, the album found Khan mixing sounds she’s long loved — heavy bass lines, synth arpeggios, Iranian pop beats and cascading chorus which help evoke an achingly wistful air.

Khan recently released a four song live EP recorded at London-based venue EartH that features a stripped down versions of “Daniel,” “Desert Man” and “The Hunger” off Lost Girls featuring Khan accompanying herself on piano and organ. The EP’s first official single is a slow-burning,  stripped down, atmospheric cover of Don Henley‘s “The Boys of Summer” centered around twinkling keys and Khan’s expressive vocals.  Khan’s Bat for Lashes cover retains the song’s awareness of the passing of time, the end of youthful innocence — of a darker, more uncertain adult world just over the horizon.

Interestingly, the EP comes just before Khan embarks on a Winter North American tour — and it serves as a taste of what fans should expect: intimate renditions of the material off Lost Girls, as well as never performed songs and some surprises.

 

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New Video: Bat For Lashes Release a Cinematic and Wistful Visual for “Kids in the Dark”

Natasha Khan is a Brighton, UK-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known as the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo recording project Bat For Lashes — and for being the vocalist for Sexwitch, a collaboration with the members of British psych rock act TOY and producer Dan Carey. Born to an English mother, Josie and Pakistani squash player Rehmat Khan, Natasha Khan traces some of the influences of her musical career to attending her father’s and her uncle’s Jahangir’s squash matches, which she felt inspired her creativity: “The roar of the crowd is intense; it is ceremonial, ritualistic, I feel like the banner got passed to me but I carried it on in a creative way. It is a similar thing, the need to thrive on heightened communal experience.” Her father left when she was 11, and she taught herself to play the piano, which quickly became an important channel to express things, to get them out.

Khan’s debut single “The Wizard” was released digitally through Drowned in Sound Records and on seven-inch vinyl through her own imprint, She Bear Records — and by 2006, she caught the attention of Echo Label, a record label owned by Chrysalis Records that acted as an incubator for emerging artists and assisting their careers while moving them to major labels. Echo released her debut, 2006’s Fur and Gold. The following year, Khan and Echo signed an international licensing deal with Parlophone Records, who re-released Fur and Gold that year. The album reached #48 on the UK Albums Charts and since its release, it’s been certified gold. Building upon a growing profile, the British singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer played at Glastonbury Festival and toured across the States. The album was shortlisted for that year’s Mercury Prize, losing to Klaxons’ Myths of the Near Future, despite being a named a heavy favorite to win — and being critically applauded. She won ASCAP’s Vanguard Award, which resulted in her performing at their “ASCAP Presents . .  .” SXSW showcase. 

2008 continued an incredible run by the British singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist as she was notated for two Brit Awards — British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist. She opened handful of dates for Radiohead, and she released a cover of The Cure’s “A Forest,” which appeared on the Perfect as Cats charity album. 

Khan’s sophomore album, 2009’s David Kosten and Khan-produced Two Suns was inspired by a trip she took to Joshua Tree, CA. The album focuses on her desert-born alter ego Pearl, whose personality she adopted while living in New York. Sonically, the material was inspired by the Brooklyn bands that had started to receive attention nationally and internationally at the time — in particularly, TV on the Radio, MGMT, Gang Gang Dance and others. Interestingly, the album also found her collaborating with the members of Yeasayer, who contributed bass and beat programming. The album debuted at #5 on the UK Albums Chart and has since been certified gold as a result of “Daniel,” which peaked at #36 on the UK Singles Chart. “Daniel” later won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song and was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year. Additionally, Khan received her second Mercury Prize nomination and a second BRIT Award nomination for British Female Solo Artist. 

Summer 2009 saw her play at Glastonbury Festival, Somerset House and the iTunes Festival, which was followed by a special edition of Two Suns, which was released ahead of her October UK tour an included a cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.” 

Khan’s third Bat for Lashes album, 2012’s The Haunted Man debuted at #6 on the UK Albums Chart, her second consecutive Top 10 album, an effort that has since been certified silver. Khan was nominated for her third Best British Solo Female BRIT Award and was nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards — Best Song Musically and Best Song Lyrically for album single “Laura.” That year saw her play at Coachella Festival. She also opened for Blur and Depeche Mode. 

During a surprise 2015 Green Man Festival set in Wales, Khan debuted her collaboration with Dan Carey and TOY — Sexwitch. That September, the project released its self-titled debut through Echo and BMG, which featured six covers of 1970s psych and folk from different parts of the world. 

2016 saw the release of her fourth full-length album The Bride, an album that was nominated for the Mercury Prize. 

Slated for a September 6, 2019 release through AWAL Recordings, Khan’s forthcoming album Lost Girls continues a run of concept albums in which she creates an off-kilter coming of age film in which fans of marauding female biker gangs roam the streets — and teenagers make out on car hoods. The women characters are parallel to the protagonists of her previously released albums — particularly, the street tough, darkness-driven Pearl from Two Suns. In this case, the album’s main character is Nikki Pink, one of the album’s Lost Girls. Thematically, the album is a romantic album that pays homage to Los Angeles, being a child of the 80s, and to the films that touched and changed her life. 

Sonically, the album finds Khan mixing sounds she’s always loved — heavy bass line, synth arpeggios, Iranian pop beats and cascading choruses. Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Kids in the Dark,” is a hazy bit of 80s inspired synth pop centered around shimmering synths, reverb-drenched blasts of guitar, a soaring hook, stuttering beats and Khan’s ethereal vocals, and interestingly enough, the track bears an uncanny resemblance to JOVM mainstay ACES, as it possesses an achingly wistful air. 

Directed by Natasha Khan, the recently released video for “Kids in the Dark” was shot against the Los Angeles hills with the eerie and gorgeous waning of dusk casting shadows — and it emphasizes the song’s wistful air, as it features the Lost Girls and two star-crossed lovers. The video hints at how its protagonist Nikki Pink became a Lost Girl. 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Geowulf Expands Upon Their Blogosphere Winning Sound in New Single

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstays Geowulf, and as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of Noosa, Australia-born friends and collaborators, Star Kendrick and Toma Benjamin. As the story goes, although the duo have known each other since they were both teenagers, their musical collaboration began when Kendrick, who grew up in a musical home started to seriously pursue music a few years ago — and Kendrick enlisted the help of her old friend to flesh out some of her early demos. 

After a string of successful, critically applauded singles including “Saltwater,” which received over 1 million Spotify streams and reached Hype Machine‘s top ten before landing at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral Charts; the Mazzy Star meets  Fleetwood Mac-like   “Don’t Talk About You;” the  Phil Spector meets Still Corners “Drink Too Much,” and the jangling, 60s girls group pop-inspired single “Hideaway,” and The Smiths-like “Sunday,” the JOVM mainstays released their Duncan Mills-produced, full-length debut, Great Big Blue last year. 

Slated for an October release, the duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore full-length album My Resignation finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays collaborating with songwriter and producer Justin Parker, who has worked with the likes of Lana Del Rey, Bat For Lashes and Cloves on a number of tracks. Reportedly, the album finds Kendrick writing what may arguably be the most brutally honest to date with the album touching about loneliness — in particularly, learning to accept it and to love the space it provides; but viewed through the lens of a 20 something trying to maneuver the weight of the expectations put upon by others and upon themselves. Naturally, the album also touches upon heartbreak, growth and self-actualization. Or in other words, the material finds the duo maturing and trying to figure out the difficulties of adulthood — although to be honest, at 40, I’m not entirely convinced that I’ve tackled that myself. 

“I See Red,” My Resignation’s first single is a subtle expansion of the sound that first caught the attention of this site and elsewhere across the blogosphere. While employing the use of shimmering synths, the track is primarily centered around jangling guitar lines, a propulsive rhythm section, a soaring hook and Kendrick’s crooning — and while sounding incredibly self-assured, the song comes from a deeply personal and lived-in place. “‘I See Red’ was written after an argument with my sister,” the duo’s Star Kendrick explains in press notes. “The song was a realization that you are only ever your most raw, horrible self when you’re with the people you love to death and who love you.

I have been very proactive over many years in going to therapy, talking openly about mental health and have constantly taken steps to control emotions, moods and even my temper – having a family history of mental illness, this is something my siblings and I have had a lot of awareness about.This song is about that process and what I’ve learnt. The ebbs and flows of trying to be the best version of yourself.”

New Video: The Surreal and Psychedelic Visuals for HOTT MT’s “Tranceforming”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Los Angeles, CA-based experimental pop Hour Of The Time Majesty Twelve (HOTT MT) — and you may recall that the duo, which is currently comprised of Spooki Tavi (guitar, vocals) and Ashi Dala (bass, vocals) have a developed a reputation for their former collaborative warehouse-based art space Non Plus Ultra, for crafting shimmering, psychedelic-leaning experimental pop, and for ambitious collaborations with The Flaming Lips, Ariel Pink, Erykah Badu and Ke$ha. Adding to a growing profile. the duo have opened for The Flaming Lips, Bat for Lashes, and Galaxie 500.
The duo’s sophomore full-length effort AU (Alternate Universe) is slated for a May 2017 release through the duo’s Mutation Records, and the album’s previous single “A Night in China Town” was a moody and dreamy song featuring shimmering synths, tinny and distorted Casio-like beats and angular guitar chords paired with a soaring hook while Spooki Tavi’s ethereal vocals floated over the mix. And while drawing from 60s psych pop and bubblegum pop and classic shoegazer rock, the song manages to also be reminiscent of Washington D.C.’s The Galaxy Electric but with a chillier air. AU (Alternate Universe)’s latest single “Tranceforming,” continues on a similar vein as its preceding single as you’ll hear a song that clearly draws from 60s psych pop and bubblegum pop — thanks in part to the use of what sounds like vintage, analog synths; but unlike the previous single, “Tranceforming” possesses a plaintive and visceral yearning, proving to be a subtle shading on a particular series of emotions.

Directed by the band’s Spooki Tavi, the recently released music video for “Tranceforming” builds upon a picture within a picture motif, as part of the video consists of its protagonist shoving a videocassette into the VCR — and the video is full of appropriately sugary and psychedelic imagery that at points features our very three dimensional protagonist in a 2 dimensional world. Pulling back to it’s viewer, the same protagonist is in a mind-altering trance.

New Video: The Nostalgic Visuals and 60s Psych Pop-Leaning Sounds of Hour Of The Time Majesty Twelve

Comprised of primary songwriter duo Spooki Tavi (guitar, vocals) and Ashi Dala (bass, vocals), the Los Angeles, CA-based experimental pop Hour Of The Time Majesty Twelve (HOTT MT) have built a profile for their collaborative warehouse, art space Non Plus Ultra, for crafting shimmering, psychedelic-leaning pop, and for ambitious collaborations with The Flaming Lips, Ariel Pink, Erykah Badu and Ke$ha. And adding to a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based experimental pop duo have opened for the aforementioned The Flaming Lips, Bat for Lashes, and Galaxie 500.

The duo’s sophomore full-length effort AU (Alternate Universe) is slated for a May 2017 release through the duo’s Mutation Records. “At Night in China Town” features the duo pairing shimmering synths, tinny and distorted Casio-like beats, angular guitar chords with Spooki Tavi’s ethereal vocals and a soaring hook in a moody yet mischievously anachronistic song that sounds as though it simultaneously draws from 60s psych pop and bubble gum pop, shoegazer rock — and in a similar fashion to Washington D.C.’s The Galaxy Electric but with a chillier air.

The recently released music video for “At Night in China Town” features footage shot at their warehouse art space Non Plus Ultra, which was recently shut down. And much like losing a favorite bar or a favorite music venue, there’s a palpable sense of friendships being made and possibly lost, of uncertainty as to what’s next and what everyone will do now that their place is gone; but along with that a hope that there may be someplace new that will leave some indelible memory on you. As the members of HOTT MT say of their recent loss ” “All of us at Non Plus Ultra have been together for years. Our ideals brought us together, and we built a space and a business on them. Non Plus Ultra showed us that we aren’t alone in our desires. There are so many people in this town who share our values. We’ve made and lost spaces before, but this time we’ve got an incredible support system.”