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In Honor of the New Bat for Lashes Album

First of all, happy Pride! I think this year, we need it more than previous years (well, the past several at least). I volunteered at Phoenix Pride earlier this year (it's in the spring because the summers are dangerously hot). It was a good experience; I hope to do more of it in the future.

One of my all-time favorite favorite FAVORITE singers is putting out a new album entitled "The Bride." Yes, Natasha "Bat For Lashes" Khan. And honestly, I feel like this might be her best body of work to date. !!!

 

The album deals with the idea of a bride who loses her groom on the way to the chapel. From this point, she embarks on a quest through grief and self-discovery. It seems to be one of those albums you need to listen to from start to finish. That's not really a thing anymore, you know. Albums aren't tailored to be these cosmic experiences (Gwen Stefani, lookin' at you).

CONFESSION: I have listened to "The Bride" already. NPR was streaming it! I had to! I'm still not quite sure where this Bat For Lashes album places in her discography for me, but I think I like it better than "Fur and Gold." For me, it probably goes like this: "Two Planets" - "The Bride" - "The Haunted Man" - "Fur and Gold." You're going to see this album on a lot of year-end best-of lists, that's for sure. You can listen to it for yourself here. "Close Encounters" is my favorite so far. It's exquisite; it's atmospheric. It does feel like you're communing with the spirit world. I know that sounds like some "Ghost Whisperer" nonsense, but trust me on this.

I'm really hopeful that Bat For Lashes reaches the next level of recognition with this album. I've always felt very protective of her, because she doesn't seem to have quite the following other singers I've adored over the years (Fiona Apple, Lana Del Rey, St. Vincent, Lykke Li) have amassed. In fact, a lot of my friends have thrown around labels like "Diet Kate Bush." But really, listening to "The Bride," I think Natasha hit her mark. She created an experience that demands a reaction.

So to celebrate this slightly macabre-themed album (which feels almost like a literary experiment), I decided to compile some sad wedding songs.

 
Of course "Band of Gold" was where my mind went first. This classic from the early '70s, sung by Freda Payne, chronicles a bride who suffers rejection on her wedding night. I think it's related to being "cold" or what have you - my Mom explained this to me in the car once when I was a kid. It's a beautiful, well-produced song. Freda Payne is somewhat of a one-hit wonder, but this song truly stands the test of time. Bat for Lashes' "Bride" never experienced her wedding night, so the protagonist of this song suffered a slightly less cruel fate. Slightly.
 
 

 

 I chose "Bang Bang" (Nancy Sinatra version) because I will never not think of "Kill Bill" when I hear this song. Like, instant Pavlovian reaction. And of course, who better to be than that Bridge?! Much different outcome for her. Uma Thurman knew how to wear a tracksuit well, which is an art in itself.

I don't want this to seem like a female-centric list, but I think the concept of weddings/marriage have much different implications for the genders. But maybe I don't know; maybe it's because it's an idea creative-minded women have played with more than our male brethren.
 
Here's Guns N' Roses playing "November Rain." Honestly, I don't like this song because it's a bit too over-the-top for my tastes. But I respect the music video, which is definitely one of the best ever made. Special props go to Slash's guitar solo in the desert.

And before we had Bat For Lashes, we had Tori Amos, queen of concept albums. "Jackie's Strength" is so gorgeous - yearning, even a little desperate in places - but also somewhat depressing. I like the confessionalist tour de force she turned the song into, using Jackie O as a springboard for a retrospective on life that was pretty fitting as Tori was just about to get married herself. I think a lot of people don't really think they'll ever find "love," so actually finding it is a shock. Like, how I'd get here? Do I deserve this?  She captures that insecurity and bemusement well. Now, I've been love a few times, but I've never landed quite at this stage, so it's all speculation on my part. TBQH tho, whenever I'm in a relationship, I'm always shocked. Like, ?!?! what do you see in me? I lack common sense and own guinea pigs. But some people like that I guess. I have my awkward charm.


"The Bride" will officially be released this Friday, July 1st. Bat For Lashes is currently touring select cities in America.

Comments

  1. OMG I have to check it out in full! I love me some Natasha, her voice is just as ethereal as her music. Two Suns is my favorite as well, so let's see how this one compares. (That Gwen shade tho, gurl.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do it up! Let me know what you think. I honestly love it. And RIGHT?! Shots fired! ;)

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    2. I gave it a listen last night, I'll let you know when I have a more solid opinion. :) I hear Gwen is struggling with ticket sales due to overpricing, so now they're offering 4 tickers for $40. Sis that's what happens when you take 10 years to release a new solo album and it turns out to be mediocre!

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