Off the back of her 2016 release, The Bride, comes Bat For Lashes new independent work, Lost Girls.
review by: Megan Henderson
“..Khan's writing and production is truly effective in creating an almost tangible atmosphere.”
The 10-track album has a youthful spirit, and is reminiscent of a retro video game or film soundtrack, which is fitting, as the woman behind the music, Natasha Khan, is a passionate filmmaker herself. She multi-tasked scriptwriting with the production of the record, and says this plays a pivotal role in the album writing process, as she writes music to accompany the scenes playing out in her mind.
The album is her first release since breaking away from a ten-year recording contract, and was created in collaboration with writer and producer, Charles Scott IV. Khan says this was a new way of music making for her, as previous albums have been created in pure solitude.
The process of writing and producing Lost Girls was liberating and freeing for Khan; she took her time and let herself genuinely enjoy the whole experience. Lost Girls is an album about a youthful love and freedom, and follows the narrative to one of Khan’s film scripts. As you listen, you’ll follow the story of a vampire girl gang set in the 1980’s.
Opening track, Kids in the Dark steps into the shoes of the protagonist of Khan's film, Nikki Pink. The title track was written in just a day, and was created from the feeling of driving through an LA sunset with the windows down, surrounded by the Californian mountains. It sets the album off to an emotive, 80's synth induced state that makes you feel nostalgic for a type of love you've never even experienced. This very specific type of feeling is present throughout the entire album; Khan's writing and production is truly effective in creating an almost tangible atmosphere.
If you feel like you've stepped into an 80's sci-fi film you definitely wouldn't be wrong. Khan notes classic films like ET and The Goonies as art that has inspired her work today, stating the effect these types of films have on the imagination of children. As well as sci-fi film, Lost Girls pays homage to Iranian pop music and the feeling of being in Pakistan, her father's home country, where Khan spent parts of her childhood growing up. She compares the smell of Jasmine, the city lights, and the heat of Pakistan to the time she spent later living in LA. The Middle-Eastern pop sounds are most notable on tracks like So Good, which starts off dark and brooding, then bursts into a tonal change with higher-key synths in the chorus.
Take a listen to Lost Girls, out September 6, and step inside the story of Khan's fictitious girl gang whilst being transported back in time. Picture yourself driving through a hot summer's night with an open head and heart, and channel the youthful innocence you'll inevitably feel from listening.