After a three-year wait, British indie-pop artist Natasha Khan, who performs as Bat for Lashes, will release her third full-length of dark and dreamy music, titled The Haunted Man, in October. She gave the world its first taste of three new songs, which we’ve posted below (via Consequence of Sound), last night at a gig in Cambridge, England.
The first song, “Laura,” kicks off after about a minute of banter and Khan telling the audience she needs to catch her breath because the song is hard to sing. When it starts, it’s clear what she means: Accompanied by a piano playing a simple motif, Khan’s voice sounds breathy and morose as she builds to the chorus, “Laura, you’re more than a superstar.” (She never makes it clear which Laura she means, though, so it could very well be Laura Dern, Bush, Prepon or Palmer for all we know at this point.)
Her next number is titled “Marilyn” and finds Khan pushing her voice to its upper limits as she sings about “touching the star.” Meanwhile, shimmering, sparse guitars recall the Cocteau Twins while plinky keyboard breaks pay homage to ’80s synth-pop, making for a dreamy song all around.
Finally, she debuted a song called “A Wall.” The first song of the three to feature a strong backbeat, the generally more upbeat tune shows off Khan’s more optimistic side, in a way, as she sings, “You see a wall / I see a door.” Keyboard noise swells around her by the end, but nonetheless she dances the most to this song, as the audience seems pleasantly stunned until she bids her farewell.
And, just as a reminder of the new song she debuted last year, we’ve also included “Oh Yeah,” which she performed in Sydney, Australia. Boasting a slinky mid-tempo beat she can hand-clap to, it has a sort of buzzing, woozy-sounding backing track for Khan to wave her red dress like a flag to as she sings about “looking for a lover.” One thing is for sure of the four songs, like the title of her new album, they’re haunting in the best way possible.