Bat for Lashes – The Bride
It was the sinister melodies of the Mercury-nominated Fur and Gold that first brought Natasha Khan to prominence nearly ten years ago. Its beat-laden follow-up Two Suns and the tribal Sexwitch project added strings to her bow, but for her fourth album as Bat for Lashes it’s back to the sparse, haunting aura of her debut.
A thread of tortured melancholy with scattered lyrics of loss and grief weave together an imagined story of a woman who loses her fiancée in a crash on the way to their nuptials – hardly the cheeriest fare we're sure you'll agree.
But Khan’s voice has always been her strongest weapon, and plays particularly well against stripped back instrumentation on the heartbreak of In God’s House and forced acceptance of Clouds. At times perhaps overly conceptual – Honeymooning Alone needlessly hammers the point home – The Bride also lacks more standout cuts to truly make it soar. There’s nevertheless plenty to appreciate here; just don’t expect much in the way of wedding playlist material.