Bat for Lashes – Lost Girls

Natasha Khan returns with a sumptuous soundtrack to misspent LA evenings

Album Review by Max Sefton | 05 Sep 2019
  • Bat for Lashes - Lost Girls
Album title: Lost Girls
Artist: Bat for Lashes
Label: Awal Recordings
Release date: 6 Sep

For her first record since the conceptually rich but occasionally overwrought The Bride, Bat for Lashes’ Natasha Khan returns with the sumptuous, synth-splashed Lost Girls, the soundtrack to misspent LA evenings.

Lost Girls opens with its lead single Kids in the Dark, an instant statement of intent power ballad which finds Khan both loving and reflective. “You’re always on my mind / it’s been such a hard time / riding through the pines / seeing you in the red light” over slick chest-beating synth-pop, with lashing of 80s reverb and a touch of Portishead in the airy, spacious vocal.

Equally strong is The Hunger, which sees multiple Khan’s dual it out over an echoing Edge-like guitar, while Feel For You sounds like Kate Bush and Talking Heads meeting in California. Inspired by 80s sci-fi, coming-of-age movies and her work developing a vampire girl-gang project of her own, Lost Girls will be a hit with anyone who found themselves seduced by Chromatics and the other artists who found fame in the wake of Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling’s Drive.

Like The Bride, there is a common conceptual thread running through these tracks, but unlike that record, there is less effort exerted in shaping them to fit a narrative. The songs are better for it, each unspooling like a miniature movie of its own without the same need to move the story from point A to point B.

The album’s accompanying notes talk about driving through the mountainous LA deserts at night-time, and hints (or is it a warning?) that if you stare into the desert too long, you might start to see things emerging from the mist. Whatever Khan has seen out there, this a record that makes you glad she brought a little slice of it back for the rest of us.

Listen to: Lost Girls, Feel For You