Bat For Lashes
Lost Girls


3.8
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
September 8th, 2019 | 26 replies


Release Date: 09/06/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Indulging in the '80s music...

The beauty of Natasha Khan’s albums lies in the experience they offer as a whole. We always receive an immersive journey where the music and lyrics completely wrap themselves around you. Her gorgeous voice leads the way, whereas the cinematic songs provide all necessary details for you to vividly relive her stories. This latest affair, Lost Girls feels like a trip back in time, fusing several ‘80s pop sounds, embellished with current synthwave (retro and dreamwave) aesthetics. While the latter share similar characteristics, she took the laid back pace and hazy synth pads reminiscent of Com Truise or The Midnight and fused them with the pumped up, sunny keyboards and sequencers of the original era. Thankfully, Natasha seems to have been carried away by these influences a bit, rather than just controlling every aspect. Also, personal details such as living in Los Angeles, often driving along the coast or through the desert while listening to music, watching the beautiful sunsets, as well as falling in love brought a welcomed change in themes and vibes. It’s like shaking off all the troubles that have been haunting you, especially when taking into account the heart wrenching predecessor, The Bride.

The first half of Lost Girls focuses mainly on protagonist Nikki Pink, who fell in love with a guy from a small desert town. Thus, the tracks switch from the playful & dancey grooves of ‘Feel for You’, which is surprisingly jolly and fun, to the smooth, mid-tempo, funky bass-led rhythms ‘The Hunger’ boasts. This is one of the highlights here, mashing previously covered grounds with current sonic directions. Plus, Khan’s voice hits some lovely peaks (available for the entire album). Meanwhile, the romantic and intimate atmosphere ‘Kids in the Dark’ and ‘Desert Man’ share is enhanced by multiple warm synthesizers. The former could have easily been featured on Tycho’s latest LP, Weather, evoking that blissful Californian scenery and the freedom it inspires.

Nevertheless, the romance doesn’t last forever. As the two try to find out more about this vampire biker gang, The Lost Girls, Nikki is taken hostage by them. ‘Jasmine’ kicks in with those “tropical” keyboard leads that usually signaled action-filled scenes in ‘80s movies. The spoken word verses and reverbed choruses are backed by more thrilling sound scapes and followed by one of the most interesting surprises on the LP, ‘Vampires’. An instrumental ditty, the track features a bittersweet melody, spiced with saxophone solos that echo even Ulver’s Perdition City to a certain extent. Its haunting, nocturnal vibe extends to the second half of the record, even though the music doesn’t lose its sparkle. Many of the songs back then were dancefloor-ready although the lyrics were depressing. Since Nikki became a vampire and cannot live happily with her lover, she ultimately wants to die. ‘Safe Tonight’ contains some really catchy verses that temporarily mask the impending deceit and more introspective end. The cyclic piano lines on album closer, ‘Mountain’ and pulsing bass build to a powerful climax, still, there’s nothing much the two main characters can do now. All along, Natasha’s vocals come across as mesmerizing and she manages to pull off some cheesy elements of that era.

Overall, Lost Girls ends up as a fun record that luckily, doesn’t overstay its welcome. It has groove and substance as it takes its cues from the likes of Prince, David Bowie, Madonna, Cindy Lauper or Peter Gabriel to name a few. The best thing about this affair is that it makes good use of the ‘80s sound palette, while adding a nice, modern twist to it (you can hear some Com Truise, Tycho or The Midnight too). Even so, just like the movies from that period, you have to accept a number of cliches to truly enjoy the ride. Nevertheless, most of the tracks fare well when taken out of context and are easy to get into.




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user ratings (37)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2019


4847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Didn't expect to enjoy this album so much, it's catchy, fun and easy to listen. Besides this, her voice is gorgeous.



'Kids in the Dark' (video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm3Xg289qTM

'The Hunger' (video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrgesVaWIAU



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm3Xg289qTM&list=OLAK5uy_lz5olnhmVrRYLOWZ81QXnSArl8Qh8D7k4

Digging: Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls

luci
September 8th 2019


11641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

glad to see this covered, agree with your conclusion. glad she released an album with this much immediacy, found her last two albums quite drab

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2019


4847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks! I got into her with The Bride, but it was an uneasy record and couldn’t listen to it unless I was in the mood (same with The Haunted Man). This one flows so easily and is fun.

Divaman
September 8th 2019


4118 Comments


Didn't like her last one enough to check this one out.

Digging: Batushka - HOSPODI

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2019


10652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Synthwavy synthpop? I gotta check this.

dmathias52
September 8th 2019


830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I wish I enjoyed this more. A lot of the songs have really brilliant moments, but just kind of rely on those moments and don’t expand on them. Almost every song could be like a 30 second highlight and I feel like it’d be the same experience

Digging: Courtney Swain - Between Blood and Ocean

alamo
September 8th 2019


1733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what's with this year and instrumentals being album highlights

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

RedRightHand
September 8th 2019


101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing album, puts me in the mind of m83, certainly.

Hughesgazer for the now!

Let
September 9th 2019


1662 Comments


It's so pretty

Skash
September 9th 2019


15 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't expect to enjoy this either, really great album



Nice review

Scheumke
September 9th 2019


1109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is really good. I don't know where the synth worship is coming from this year, but turns out most of those are actually really good so I'm happy.

Digging: Moron Police - Boat on the Sea

Coast
September 9th 2019


970 Comments


Last 2 albums were a bit meh but this is immediate just on a quick album sample.

Digging: A Novelist - Folie

osmark86
September 9th 2019


9212 Comments


loved the haunted man back when it came out, so thinking I should check this one out.

Zackkkk
September 9th 2019


120 Comments


So is this album full of tracks like Daniel? If so, I’ll have to give it a listen. Was less a fan of her chamber pop sound.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2019


4847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yes, this album is full of tracks that are closer to Daniel than her chamber pop sound.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2019


10652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really digging this. Never heard anything by her before but she really nailed this sound.

BrushedRed
September 10th 2019


3172 Comments


This is pretty great so far, not gonna lie

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
September 10th 2019


7998 Comments


Unsure of this on first listen but opener is fire

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Demon of the Fall
September 11th 2019


12402 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thought I'd enjoy this more unfortunately, I don't mind a bit of synth-pop but this is incredibly bland.

Digging: Cara Neir - Part III / Part IV

Romulus
September 11th 2019


8535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fun listen



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