Today’s Sounds: Bat for Lashes
Bat for Lashes, The Haunted Man (Parlophone)
The Haunted Man could be best summed up as the thinking person’s ideal pre-party soundtrack. Full of sultry odes to forgotten loves (“All Your Gold” and “Laura”), as well as quiet optimism (“Rest Your Head”), Natasha Khan’s latest collection boasts just the right amount of syrupy vocal intonations, varied tones and instrumentation to make it interesting enough to warrant repeated listens, if only for its unconventional sonic explorations.
Whereas her first two records toed the line of what one could expect from someone known both for folk and electronic music, this album finally feels as though Khan has managed to mesh these elements cohesively and refine her formula to the point that the record seems like an effortless exercise from the London native.
Khan’s quiet celebration of life, and working through loss in order to enjoy the smaller things, comes through loud and clear without beating the listener over the head — a rare feat when one considers how many acts flaunt their feelings like a baseball bat to the face. This album may turn out to be her breakthrough to a larger audience, filled with just the right amount of catchy moments to pique a casual listener’s attention and strong songs to keep a fan interested.
King L, “My Hoes They Do Drugs”
Chicago’s King L (aka King Louie) gets props for sheer audacity, and while he’s not alone in hyping hedonism and debauchery to the kids, he is reigning right now. On them hoes.
Swans, “No Words No Thoughts”
Heavenly heavy band Swans play la Tulipe tonight, and some have predicted that this will be the show of the year. (It’s sold out, but a limited number of tickets will be made available at the door.) No video could match the feeling of being in the room, but cast your eyes on this for a glimpse of what all the fuss is about.