Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man

by Greg Spencer Rating:8 Release Date:2012-10-15

Bat For Lashes, AKA Natasha Khan, caught everyone's attention a few years ago with her second album, Two Suns, which gained widespread acclaim and propelled her to the forefront of the indie-pop scene. Now, Bat for Lashes is back with The Haunted Man which, other than sounding like a Hammer horror movie title, resonates, is stripped down and in Khan's words is "in honour of women like Patti Smith".

It's a strange comparison to make but one that makes sense; Patti Smith had bags of attitude. She was part of a completely different scene but also wore her heart on her sleeve, as Bat For Lashes does on this record. All the way through The Haunted Man, you get this sense of pure, unadulterated emotion paralleled with beautiful, raw and visceral sounds.

Opening track 'Lilies' is a down-tempo, well-crafted start to the album. It has a peculiar and haunting feel to it, comfirming all the comparisons to Kate Bush Khan has acquired over the years. It's perfect track to start the album with, feeling like all the baggage is being disposed of before the record gets going. 'All Your Gold', which follows, sees Khan demonstrate her fantastic vocal range while maintaining an ethereal quality.

The song which a lot of people heard before the album's release was 'Laura', a heart-breaking yet delicate and captivating song which has pain coming out of every orifice and is all the better for it. It's obvious that Bat for Lashes is at her best when singing about real pain and when the raw emotion comes through.

There some tracks that don't quite hang together; 'Marilyn' and 'Rest Your Head' feel like they lack some of the purity and artistic flair that's present in the majority of the songs. However, it's a fantastic album and it'd be a shame if it slips under the radar. Then again, maybe that's the way Bat for Lashes should be: effortless and beautiful but not appreciated by everybody and therefore unspoiled.

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