Sometimes after a new artist releases a critically acclaimed debut, they have trouble coming up with a follow-up album that's as compelling. After all, the artist's entire life has prepared them for the debut, but after it's released, they likely hit the road promoting the album and feel the pressure to follow-up while the iron is hot and end up rushing their second effort. The end result is album number two usually isn't as good as the first. This phenomenon is known as the sophomore slump and has occurred countless times over the history of recorded music.
I'm happy to report that in baseball terminology Bat For Lashes is still batting 1.000, meaning the recently released Two Suns is just as stunning as Bat's 2007 debut album, Fur And Gold. In other words, there's no sophomore slump here. Check out Bat For Lashes' exquisite exclusive performance of "Daniel," one of several fine tracks from Two Suns.
For the uninitiated, Bat For Lashes isn't so much a band, but the moniker adopted by Natasha Khan, a true artist in every sense of the word. As you'll note in the video interview included with this blog, not only does Khan write, sing, produce and perform Bat For Lashes' music, she designs its logos and artwork, and is heavily involved in the creation of the act's music videos. Khan jokes that she's a bit of a control freak, but I'd argue that she's an artist in complete control of her vision and simply doesn't want anyone to stand between her and her art from fear they might muck it up. As you might have noticed in the performance above, Khan is joined in her intimate Yahoo! exclusive live session by kindred spirit Ben Christophers, a singer-songwriter in his own right, who is also a member of Bat For Lashes backing band, the Blue Dreams. Watch Khan and Christophers perform the haunting "Moon And Moon," another stunning track from Two Suns.
One of the most compelling elements of Bat For Lashes music--asides from Khan's striking voice--is its mix of obscure acoustic instruments with modern electronics. As you might have noticed in the performance of "Daniel," the track begins with beat-box rhythms and electronic handclaps before Khan's and Christophers' keyboards kick in, and are enhanced by Christophers tinkling on an antique instrument known as a Marxophone. Below, in a dramatic reading of "Glass"--the opening track from Two Suns
--Christophers provides sympathetic accompaniment to Khan's gut-wrenching vocal and keyboards by simultaneously plucking a harp with his left hand and playing the Marxophone with his right. We should all be so talented. Check it the performance, stay tuned to an exclusive video interview, and look for Bat For Lashes when she returns to the U.S. for a string of dates in August, including a stop at Lollapalooza.