The cover for Natasha Khan’s third album as Bat for Lashes, The Haunted Man, suggests a record of raw, unadorned revelations. But the second track Khan has made available from the album, due out October 15 in the U.K. via Parlophone/EMI and October 23 in the U.S. via Capitol, still conceals as much as it gives away. And compared with earlier video selection “Laura,” a heartbreaking post-ironic torch song, the newly released “Marilyn,” in keeping with its live debut, is a more dressed-up affair. Goodbye, Norma Jean.
Downloadable for free on Amazon (via A Heart Is a Spade) and streaming below (via Pitchfork), “Marilyn” is every bit as soaring and subtly emotion-packed as its predecessor. Adding gauzy electronics, including a blippy instrumental breakdown, to Khan’s supple, smoky vocals, the song evocatively describes a black-and-white nighttime vision. Where Khan’s “Laura” is “a superstar,” on “Marilyn” she repeats, in a lofty flight of melisma, “Holding you I’m touching a star.” And, in the uncompromising Kate Bush mold, we’re listening to one.