It might seem silly to mention it but all four members of Bat for Lashes are strikingly beautiful. Seeing them is like witnessing some rare cinema where you can imagine Grecian fairies and Native Americans all coming together in an unlikely Brighton, England to create some fairly bizarre costumes. A definite tone is created on stage where you feel like there’s a strange sort of mood. The music is soft and somewhat melancholy but is at times just as avant-garde as the style of dress.
The band is currently touring North America to support the upcoming release of their album Fur and Gold, which I had found and purchased recently on import at Reckless. (domestic version hits stores today) The album is a definite grower and has a very strange but enchanting sort of style with some of the songs such as the opening narration of “What’s a Girl to do?” even reminding me of Black Box Recorder. The song that draws me in the most is “Trophy” with it’s methodical refrain: “Heaven is a feeling I get in your arms.” This was also a highlight of their live set, although I felt that it would have been best if they had saved it until last or perhaps even as an encore to heighten the anticipation. Another favorite of the set and album, “Tahiti” would have made a good later song as well, though their Bruce Springsteen cover seemed place in just the right spot. I would have also enjoyed it had they changed the songs up a bit stylistically, perhaps lending some more energy and increasing the pace to keep the music even more engaging than it already was. The challenge of this is, of course, preserving the magic and spooky tone of it all.
Though the four women that make up Bat for Lashes all play each other’s instruments, sing at some points, and appear very visually enchanting, Natasha Khan seems foremost the lead. She as well as the Bat for Lashes album have been praised widely in England by even the likes of Thom Yorke. Undoubtedly, they have been playing larger venues in England, making Chicago once again lucky enough to have a place like Schubas Tavern to experience these great bands in.