By Kirsty Kalin
Bat for Lashes is the pseudonym for Pakistan-born, Britain-based singer Natasha Khan. Her most recent album, Two Suns, features bass and beat programming from Brooklyn-based psychedelic experimenter Yeasayer and singer Scott Walker, who performs in the duet “The Big Sleep.” Holding true to her alternative sounds, Two Suns is a heady combination of breathy vocals and talented drumming.
Basing her work on modern day fables, Khan attempts to expose the duality of identities and introduces her own alter ego, a femme fatale named Pearl.
Continuing her penchant for giving songs people’s names — “Sarah,” “Priscilla,” “Pearl,” “Daniel” — Khan carries a similar sound from 2006’s Fur and Gold. Like her previous album, Suns isn’t an entirely positive first listen. Some songs, such as “Sleep Alone” have great hooks, but only become favourites after repeated exposure.
“Glass” is the album’s ethereal introduction, with a string accompaniment and background city soundscape complementing a pounding drum beat distinct from her previous works. After the haunting a capella of “Glass,” the album easily transitions to the more lyrical ballad, “Two Suns.”
Overall, Suns is interesting, but most songs seem more like B-side accompaniments to Fur and Gold than a new CD with new ideas. Diehard Bat for Lashes fans should give it a listen, but hopefully her next album will show a stylistic progression and not just a side-step.