Album: Bat for Lashes <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Fur and Gold, SHE BEAR/ECHO LABEL

Natasha Khan, the Brighton-based songwriter behind Bat For Lashes, draws heavily on the musical and temperamental oddity of such earlier singers as Björk and Kate Bush, particularly the mystic tendencies of the latter's The Dreaming. Khan's songs are populated by symbolic animal spirits and fairy-tale characters such as "The Wizard" ("Drink his blood and he's our leader"), and wreathed in sinister portents and pagan symbols such as that underscoring "Trophy": "The trophy that I made for us in fur and gold/Got into the wrong pair of hands, and truth was sold". Khan's music, occupying a position between folk and the avant-garde, offers countless fascinating musical diversions, such as zither, harpsichord and vibes. The opening "Horse And I" is perhaps the standout example, its tale of being "Woken in the night/By mystic golden light" and riding a steed into a fairytale being swathed in an ambitious arrangement of stalking harpsichord, drum tattoo, spooky bowed-saw synth and strings. Fur And Gold inhabits the crossover market niche where elfin folk overlaps into goth.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Horse And I', 'The Wizard', 'Trophy', 'Tahiti'

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