[17] Bat For Lashes, ‘Laura’

Bat For Lashes

Most of the Bat For Lashes chat this year has been about her standing there starkers on her album cover heaving an also-threadless man about. What could be, uh, naked titillation is in fact making a more artistic point about stripping herself bare, no ornament, no facade, and expressing an openness in relationships too. As she explains to Andy Welch here in an absorbing interview.

Phwoar. Sorry. But ‘Laura’ backs it all up, as unadorned as it is beautiful. There’s a glumness about it, but just listen and it’s a lovely pep talk to a cautious pal – and that chorus, that word in fact, hits like a graceful steam train. A hook so refined.

It prompts some interpretive dance from Junior, which seems right for Natasha Khan. There’s a touch of the aesthete about her, however good a straight-up popstar she could make. Junior 2 wants to dance on the table. She drinks in lyrics, you see.

[20] Bat For Lashes, ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’

Bat For Lashes, ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’

WE BEGIN with the witchy, ethereal, Bjorkish, any other tired adjectives that might have been applied this year, Natasha Khan – runaway Mercury favourite on the night and Kate Bush for the Noughties. The ramshackle Klaxons snagged the award, but Fur And Gold was the most enticing album on the list, all horses and wizards.
 
This comes on like ‘Be My Baby’ with its thumping drum intro – let’s be clear here, it is the ‘Be My Baby’ intro – before it gets all, erm, witchy and ethereal with Natasha whispering her vexing situation as if she’s floating around right next to your ear. The chorus steals the drums again, but provides no answers, just that question. It takes you into a dark, unsettling world – pure pop drama.
 
Junior took the CD off me, popped it in the tray and pressed play, unprompted. We may have been doing this too long. She then held out her ra-ra skirt and curtseyed throughout, which was a new one on me, but I can quite imagine that Khan is a curtseying sort of girl.