Must See: Bat for Lashes, various venues
Saturday 13 October 2012
Even when she's naked, Natasha Khan's taste for the theatrical is unmistakeable. The cover of Bat for Lashes' new album, The Haunted Man, sees Khan stripped bare but for the bloke hoisted over her shoulders.
As you'd hope from a conjuror of arty spook-pop, sleight-of-hand is at work here, a bit of magic in which a spare image contains unspoken dramas – like, how/why did he get up there? And why are they starkers?
That trickery extends to the music, where Khan swerves from the twilit fancies of her early work to more intimate, tactile songs of dream and desire, all without diluting the spells she casts. Some of it's a bit tasteful, but her flair for the flourish gains in subtle, sinuous power by leaving room for listeners' imaginations to roam.
Call it a less-is-more thing: back in control of her art-pop after three years of creative struggle, Khan has learnt not to strain for impact.
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