She's not your queen anymore
Despite appearances, I am, in my own way, a girly girl. I thoroughly enjoyed playing dress up as a child, piling on my mother's shawls and spinning the way I saw Stevie Nicks do on TV. When needed, I pile on the make-up and put on the shoes. I even listen to full throttle lady music which can definitely be girly-girlier than a manicure.
Sample conversation at the Delancey subway stop this past year:
J: (Seeing me listening intently to something) What are you listening to?
D: Uh...Tori Amos.
D: Yes. What? There's a harpsichord!
J: (Look of disbelief)
While Bats For Lashes falls into the Tori Amos category, what with their tremulous ballads, to me the sound is more geisha than madwoman. In other words, while Tori scares some dudes, Bats for Lashes definitely wouldn't, in fact, they'll attract them. There's no great need to their sound, it's too contained, neat and pretty. Everything is curlicued, whispered and slinky in an almost deranged, feverish interpretation of femininity. Antiquated and dangerous femininity - like Theda Bara, that turn-of-the-century vamp. Someone that will seduce you, destroy you, then slowly retreat behind velvet curtains. But only after they've made you feel on top of the world.
That being said, taken as theatre, Bats For Lashes is aces. I love the cool, alabaster sound of lead singer Natasha Khan's voice. In Prescilla, she sings about a woman who yearns for children and stability, "to be needed, simply and with meaning" while the backing autoharp and hand claps become progressively more ominous. You know that poor fictional woman ain't going nowhere.
Prescilla/Bats For Lashes (mp3)
Prescilla/Bats For Lashes (video) (now with extra brass!)
Purchase Fur and Gold by Bats For Lashes on Amazon Digital.