Bat For Lashes – Lost Girls

Natasha Khan celebrates sounds of 80s cult classics on her fifth Bat For Lashes full-length, 'Lost Girls'.
Label: AWAL Recordings
Released: 6th September 2019
Rating: ★★★★

Bat For Lashes is no stranger to a strong concept. In 2016, her album ‘The Bride’ honed in on a woman left at the altar after her husband-to-be is killed. Now, follow-up ‘Lost Girls’ sees Natasha Khan putting on those storyteller shoes once again as we delve into the world of protagonist Nikki Pink and a gang of female bikers in 1980s LA.

Lead single ‘Kids In The Dark’ packs a synth arpeggio punch as we dive headfirst into the 80s-inspired realm, welcomed with infectious hooks and lyrics emulating dialogue from classic films of the time. “Let’s take it down / To where the loving starts / Where we’re just kids in the dark,” she coos.

The narrative is in full-swing with second track ‘Hunger’, with its bass-filled builds and haunting harmonies. Synth soundscapes intensify the drama of this parallel universe. ‘Feel For You’ offers a more upbeat sound with slick strings and pounds of percussion to accompany Khan’s nonchalant vocals, echoing the swag of Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry. ‘Desert Man’ harkens back to old Bat For Lashes, particularly ‘Two Suns’ with its ethereal electronics, which are embedded in much of Bat For Lashes’ discography.

In ‘Feel Good’, Khan asks, “Why does it hurt so good? / You don’t treat me like you should”, which offers the same arc as Carly Simon’s 1982 hit ‘Why’, but with a pop polish that nods more towards a Cyndi Lauper number. Either way, there’s no doubt the hairbrushes will be out in full force after one just listen.

Each track, enriched by their theatrical tendencies, ensures Khan keeps steering the album in the desired direction, strengthened by its abundance of melodies and storyline. ‘Lost Girls’ slots into the ongoing resurgence of 80s culture and does well to capture the zeitgeist of the decade.

Charlotte Croft

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