Bat for Lashes

Bat for Lashes
Bat for Lashes

Natasha Khan playing at the Plug Awards 2008
Background information
Birth name Natasha Khan
Born 25 October 1979 (1979-10-25) (age 32)
Origin London, United Kingdom
Genres Indie pop, folktronica, dream pop, electronica, alternative rock
Labels She Bear Records, Parlophone, Manimal Vinyl, Caroline, Astralwerks
Associated acts New Young Pony Club
Notable instruments
Vocals, percussion, drum machine, piano, harpsichord, autoharp, bass, guitar, xylophone [1]
Live band line-up
Ben Christophers
Charlotte Hatherley
Valentina Magaletti
Past members
Sarah Jones
Abi Fry
Caroline Weeks
Katherine Mann
Alex Thomas
Lizzy Carey

Natasha Khan (born 25 October 1979), also known by her stage name Bat for Lashes, is an English musician. She sings and plays the piano, bass, guitar, harpsichord and the autoharp.

Khan's debut album, Fur and Gold, released in 2006, peaked at number forty-eight on the UK Album Chart and was shortlisted for the 2007 Mercury Prize. In 2008, Khan received two BRIT Award nominations for Best Breakthrough Artist and Best Female Solo Artist.

Khan’s second album, Two Suns, released in 2009, reached number five on the UK Album Chart and number seventeen on the Irish Album Chart. It produced her first UK top forty single, "Daniel", and was shortlisted for the 2009 Mercury Prize. Khan was nominated Best Female Solo Artist at 2010 BRIT Awards.



Early life

Khan was born in London on 25 October 1979.[2] Until the age of five she was raised in Wembley where her parents had met and married several years before. She was born to a Pakistani father, Rehmat Khan (a former professional squash player from Peshawar) and to an English mother. Her father decided to relocate the family to the commuter town of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire to help with his coaching of future squash world open winner Jahangir Khan, Natasha's cousin.[3]

As a child Khan, along with her sister Suraya and brother Tariq, attended her uncle’s squash matches. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Khan reflected that seeing her uncle helped inspire her. "The roar of the crowd is intense; it is ceremonial, ritualistic, I feel like the banner got passed to me but I carried it on in a creative way. It is a similar thing, the need to thrive on heightened communal experience." With her father’s abandonment of the family Khan turned to the piano. Deciding to play improvised pieces instead of attending lessons, Khan herself felt the piano became an outlet for her emotions. “You need to find a channel to express things, to get them out", she said.[3]

During her teens Khan was also a victim of racism. Speaking about her time in after-school clubs she claimed “the kids there totally ripped me to shreds.” This rejection led Khan to rebel, making the decision to “bunk off” school and stay at home listening to music. “My mum would take me to the train station and I pretended to get the train; she'd drive to work and I would go home and play a tape of Nirvana all day”.[3] With the completion of her GCSEs and A-Levels she decided to embark on a road trip through America with her boyfriend at the time, using the money earned from her part time job at a local card-making factory.[3]

After spending three months touring through the US and Mexico Khan returned to Britain and settled down in Brighton to study a degree in music and visual arts at the University of Brighton.[3][4][5] While at university her experimental work was influenced by artists such as Steve Reich and Susan Hiller, and she produced multi-media work centred on sound installations, animations and performance.

2006–2008: Fur and Gold

Following graduation, Khan worked as a nursery school teacher, and it was during this period that she began writing the material for her first album. "Whenever I'm writing music it's a very visual place in my mind," she said. "It has a location full of characters and colours and landscapes, so those two things really complement each other, and they help the other one to blossom and support the other. They are like brother and sister."

Khan playing New York City's Bowery Ballroom in support of Fur and Gold

Khan's debut single, "The Wizard", was released digitally through Drowned in Sound records and on seven-inch vinyl through Khan's own imprint, She Bear Records. She then signed to the record label Echo, alongside Feeder and former Moloko singer Róisín Murphy, and released her debut album, Fur and Gold, in September 2006. In 2007, Bat for Lashes parted company with Echo and signed to Parlophone Records, which re-released Fur and Gold with the addition of bonus material. A limited vinyl version was released by Los Angeles indie label Manimal Vinyl in May 2007. Fur and Gold reached number forty-eight on the UK Albums Chart and has since been certified Silver by the BPI for sales exceeding 60,000 copies. In 2007, Khan appeared at the Glastonbury Festival and toured the United States.[6]

Critics likened Khan's music to the work of Siouxsie Sioux,[7] Björk, Kate Bush, Cat Power, PJ Harvey, Annie Lennox, Tori Amos and Fiona Apple.[8] Both her albums were described by MTV Iggy as "at once haunting and way danceable."[9] Fur and Gold was one of the albums nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, losing out to Klaxons' Myths of the Near Future despite being a favourite of British media to win the award.[10] Also in 2007, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awarded her with the ASCAP Vanguard Award and chose her to perform at ASCAP's "ASCAP Presents..." showcase at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. In 2008, Khan was nominated for British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist at the BRIT Awards.

Radiohead's 2008 tour featured several shows with Bat for Lashes as their opening act. Her version of the The Cure's "A Forest" appeared on a charity album called Perfect as Cats on Manimal Vinyl in late 2008.

2009: Two Suns

Khan’s second album, Two Suns, was released in April 2009 and produced by Natasha Khan and David Kosten.[11] In preparation for the album, Khan journeyed to the Joshua Tree Desert in California to gain inspiration, before returning to New York and London to write and record the finished material for release.[11]

A concept album,[12] Two Suns focuses on Khan’s desert-born alter ego Pearl, whose personality she adopted while staying in New York to gain a better understanding of the character. She revealed to the BBC's Newsbeat, "I really just did it as an experiment of dressing up myself with quite garish extreme feminine make-up. I wanted to photograph myself in that situation and just see what it made me feel.”[13] Khan believed that living in Brooklyn when bands such as TV on the Radio, MGMT and Gang Gang Dance were emerging on the music scene had an influence on the album's musical style. In an interview with MTV she said, “I experienced that whole thing coming out, in terms of beats and like going out dancing and checking out all this new music it was really inspiring.”[12] During the album’s production, she also collaborated with Brooklyn artist Yeasayer for the bass and beat programming.[11]

Two Suns debuted at number five on the UK Albums Chart,[14] and has been certified Gold by the BPI for sales of 100,000 copies. The first single from the album, "Daniel", became Khan's first hit, peaking at number thirty-six on the UK Singles Chart;[15] it later won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song and was nominated for the MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year. The following singles were "Pearl's Dream" and a double A-side of "Sleep Alone" and "Moon and Moon", the latter of which was featured in a high profile advertising campaign for children's charity Barnardo's in late 2009.[16]

Bat for Lashes at the Primavera Sound 2009

Critical response to the album was generally favourable, generating a score of 77 on the review aggregator Metacritic.[17] In their review for Two Suns NME awarded it 8 out of 10 describing the album as “epic in scope and ambition and requires a similarly epic patience to unravel its charms.”[18] Rolling Stone also rated it favourably stating, “Khan proves she's a powerhouse under her billowy sleeves. She could be the next Kate Bush."[19] However some critics such as Popmatters found problems, reviewing the album they claimed, “While the weaker songs are definitely not throwaways, they miss the mark in more than one way.”[20] Blender magazine also felt the album was average, awarding it 3 out 5 stars, claiming "The contrast between Pearl and Natasha isn’t always crisply drawn".[21] As with Fur and Gold, Khan was nominated for the Mercury Prize for Two Suns.[22] In 2010, she won Best Alternative Act at the UK Asian Music Awards and received a second BRIT Award nomination for British Female Solo Artist.

As part of the 2009 summer festival season, Khan played at Glastonbury, Somerset House and the iTunes Festival. In September 2009, a special edition of Two Suns was released in the United Kingdom ahead of Khan's October tour. The special edition, which includes a cover version of Kings of Leon's single "Use Somebody", was released simultaneously in the United States. Later in 2009, the cover artwork for Two Suns was nominated for Best Art Vinyl.[23]


During early 2010, Khan toured South America supporting Coldplay (visiting: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico),[24] after a one-off gig at The De La Warr Pavilion.[25] In mid 2010, "Let's Get Lost", a collaboration with Beck, was released on the soundtrack to the film The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.[26] After working on the track, Khan expressed interest in working with Beck on her third album, stating "He's got creative ideas."[27]

To celebrate Record Store Day in 2010, Bat for Lashes released an exclusive, limited to 1000 copies edition double A-side 7-inch single. The first track was a re-worked version of "Howl" (the original B-Side to the "Trophy" 7-single) that was recorded live at De La Warr Pavilion, and the second was a live version of "Wild Is the Wind" that was recorded at Grove Music Studios. Also in 2010, Bat for Lashes contributed the song "Sleep Alone" to the Enough Project and Downtown Records' Raise Hope for Congo compilation.[28] Proceeds from the compilation fund efforts to make the protection and empowerment of Congo's women a priority, as well as inspire individuals around the world to raise their voice for peace in Congo.

In 2011, Khan recorded a cover version of Depeche Mode's song "Strangelove" for Gucci's advertising campaign for new fragrance Gulity For Him. The song was released as a free download from Gucci's channel on YouTube and various blogs.[29] Khan was chosen by Gucci's creative director Frida Giannini.[30] In June 2011, Khan performed two shows at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Vivid LIVE Arts Festival. These were her only live performances in 2011.[31][32]

In the media

Thom Yorke, Debbie Harry, and M.I.A. have complimented Khan's work, Ringo Starr said she was one of his favourite new artists, and Björk was also spotted at one of her early gigs.[33][34]

The Bat for Lashes live line-up contains an ever-revolving cast of musicians often changing on a per-tour basis. The latest line-up includes Ben Christophers, Charlotte Hatherley and Sarah Jones, who also plays drums with New Young Pony Club. This line-up was announced in March 2009. In April 2009 she appeared on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. She performed an acoustic version of the single, "Daniel," and also covered "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon. Her first appearance on US broadcast television was 1 May 2009 on The Late Show with David Letterman, performing the song "Daniel."[35] In April 2009 she appeared on the BBC2 live music show Later... with Jools Holland performing two songs from Two Suns: "Daniel" and "Sleep Alone." On 11 August 2009 Bat for Lashes performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon performing the song "Sleep Alone." She also performed "Moon and Moon" during the Mercury Award's 2009 event.[36]


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
2007 Mercury Prize Fur and Gold Nominated
ASCAP Awards Vanguard Award Won
2008 Brit Awards British Breakthrough Act Nominated
British Female Solo Artist Nominated
2009 Mercury Prize Two Suns Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Breakthrough Video (Daniel) Nominated
Best Art Vinyl of 2009 "Two Suns" Nominated
2010 Brit Awards British Female Solo Artist Nominated
UK Asian Music Awards Best Alternative Act Won
Ivor Novello Awards Best Contemporary Song (Daniel) Won


  1. ^ "Bat for Lashes Credits". Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Bat For Lashes biography". Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bat for Lashes: off the wall". The Daily Telegraph (London). 26 February 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2009. 
  4. ^ Fox, Imogen (16 October 2006). "The Guadrian - Fashion - The Close-up:Natasha Khan". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  5. ^ interview with Natasha Khan,, 11 June 2007.
  6. ^ Bat for Lashes
  7. ^ The Guardian The Observer, Garry Mulholland, Sunday 13 August 2006. Excerpt: "Khan and producer David Kosten reinvent Siouxsie/Bush/Bjork mystical sex, musical travelogue and poetic dreamstate for the contemporary singer-songwriter milieu"
  8. ^ AllMusicGuide, Bat for Lashes' biography by MacKenzie Wilson. Excerpt: "Echoes of Björk and Siouxsie Sioux are heard throughout Bat for Lashes' mystical indie rock sound."
  9. ^ "Bat For Lashes".  |MTV Iggy
  10. ^ Mercury Prize: The nominees BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Mercury Prize: The nominees
  11. ^ a b c "Bat For Lashes announces new album plans and tour dates". NME. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Bat For Lashes interview". MTV. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "Bat For Lashes' glittering return". BBC. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  14. ^ "Chart stats for album Two Suns". Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  15. ^ "Chart stats for single Daniel". Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Two Suns by Bat For Lashes". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  18. ^ "Album Review: Bat For Lashes". NME. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  19. ^ "Bat For Lashes: Two Suns". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  20. ^ "Bat For Lashes: Two Suns". Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  21. ^ "Bat For Lashes: Two Suns". Blender. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  22. ^ "Kasabian, Florence Lead Mercury Prize Nominations". Billboard. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Stereogum blog download of Bat for Lashes
  30. ^ Gucci's Youtube page with free download of the Strangelove cover version
  31. ^ Bat for Lashes - Vivid LIVE 2011
  32. ^ Natasha, Home from Australia
  33. ^ "Zane Lowe - BBC Radio 1". 15 August 2007. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Live on David Letterman - May 1st". Retrieved 2009-05-03. [dead link]
  36. ^ "Kasabian, Friendly Fires, Florence And The Machine kick off Barclaycard Mercury Prize". NME. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2009. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bat for Lashes — Bat for Lashes …   Википедия

  • Bat For Lashes — Nom Natasha Khan Naissance 25 octobre 1979 Brighton …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bat for Lashes — Nom Natasha Khan Naissance 25 octobre 1979 Brighton …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bat for Lashes — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Bat for Lashes Natasha Khan en los Plug Awards 2008. Información personal Origen …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bat for Lashes — Natasha Khan bei einem Auftritt im Bowery Ballroom, New York (September 2007) Chartplatzierungen (vorläufig) Vorlage:Infobox Chartplatzier …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bat For Lashes — Natasha Khan bei einem Auftritt im Bowery Ballroom, NYC (September 2007) Chartplatzierungen (vorläufig)Vorlage:Infobox Chartplatzierun …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Daniel (сингл Bat for Lashes) — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Daniel. «Daniel» …   Википедия

  • Daniel (Bat for Lashes song) — Daniel Single by Bat for Lashes from the album Two Suns Released 1 March 2009 …   Wikipedia

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  • Somerset House — For the 19th century town house of the Dukes of Somerset, see Somerset House, Park Lane. The Strand facade of Somerset House and the church of St Mary le Strand, shown in a view of 1836 …   Wikipedia

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