Fur And Gold
Bat For Lashes' debut, Fur And Gold, is an album that delivers the listener from any form of humdrum existence into a deeper realm of dream and dementia.
Rating: 8 ½ / 10
Francis Jones, 31 Jul 2007
Bat For Lashes' debut, Fur And Gold, is an album that delivers the listener from any form of humdrum existence into a deeper realm of dream and dementia. The alter ego of Natasha Khan, Bat For Lashes is a Kate Bush-inspired creature, wreathed in ethereal, Nico-esque pop. These songs possess a languid beauty, Khan’s vocal is celestially distant and compelling, and the off-kilter narratives she delivers are mired in that oh-so-fashionable magic realism, the sort of bewilderingly different fare that has made a musical darling of Joanna Newsom.
In short, Fur And Gold is the perfect tonic for those desperate to purge themselves of everyday mundanity. ‘Horse And I’ is quick to trot out the Bat For Lashes manifesto – this is music of the imagination, full of feverish metaphors and symbols. Trembling with vivid imagery, ‘Sea Jubilee’ constructs a menagerie of the surreal and the sinister, whilst the ‘Tahiti’ charted by Bat For Lashes is a strange and foreign land indeed.
The use of harpsichord, viola and autoharp heightens the record’s far-out tone, with even apparently conventional subject matter assuming an askew feel. ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’, ostensibly a love song, is transformed through artful conjuring into a melancholic monolith, our heroine mustering melodrama from every painfully distorted pore of her being. It is akin to looking in a carnival mirror. It is one of the great strengths of Fur And Gold that it shows us something simultaneously recognisable, but disturbing and different.