bat for lashes

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Off topic, does anyone have an “entry song” into “Hazards of Love”? You know, a song you can listen to and it gets you excited to hear the rest? Excluding the Rake’s Song, that is. I listened to the first three tracks and it was like, snoozeville, so either I am way off base or I just haven’t found the way into it. Any suggestions? (Confession: I kind of hate albums where the whole thing is one story. Excluding “The Wall.” But even that gets on my nerves sometimes.)

Aaaand, back to topic in five, four three ….

The ladies are rocking my socks off these last few months, with some really great stuff. It’s so much fun to look at my playlist and realize that it’s all women singing/writing/playing (yes, guys are great too, that’s not the point). Let’s recap, for those people who have been hiding under a rock for awhile.

01. Lisa Hannigan — Sea Sew. Have I said enough about this album? I THINK I HAVE.

Lisa Hannigan — Venn Diagram

02. Camera Obscura — My Maudlin Career. This one is classic C.O. and very fun to listen to. It starts off with such a great track, “French Navy,” where Traceyanne Campbell laments the fleeting nature of love and its unholdability.

Camera Obscura — French Navy

03. Vienna Teng — Inland Territory. Her voice is so beautiful that she sneaks all kinds of social issues into her songs and you don’t even notice until you’re singing along.

Vienna Teng — No Gringo

04. Bat For Lashes — Two Suns. Spacy, nutty, gorgeous: it’s all still there in the fabulous mix that is Natasha Khan.

Bat For Lashes — Travelling Woman

05. Neko Case — Middle Cyclone. The usual mix of the unusual: startling violent images, mysterious lyric play, being stalked by a cyclone. You know; same old same old.

Neko Case — Polar Nettles

06. Jenn Grant — Echoes. Understated and beautiful folk with jazzy undertones; the lyrics almost remind me of Bjork sometimes :D but the music does not sound anything like Her Icelandiness.

Go forth and listen!

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Albums I Enjoyed in 2007 — 6



06.
Bat For Lashes
Fur and Gold
Caroline
Prescilla

Bat For Lashes is terribly exotic in a fantasy-novel sort of way, as if Natasha Khan came from a world where magic really worked. Of course, having said that, I might have been influenced just a tidge by seeing the video for “Prescilla,” which reminded me strongly of “Labyrinth.” That video was the first time I saw Khan and heard those stomp/clap rhythms that flesh out her best tracks. I had just clicked on it for fun, in a “what the heck is a Bat For Lashes” kind of mood, and got blindsided by Khan’s voice and the glittery gold in the video augmenting the song’s fancy horn section.

Out of my whole list, this is the album that I wish I could have written. Not all of it — some of it is fairly cheezy — but songs like “Horse and I,” with its quasi-religious quest imagery, as if Khan were going into battle on a white horse to save the earth from some unknown but overarching evil. As the song ends there is no turning back / there is no turn …, Khan’s voice rises, incantatory. In other songs she pulls out and becomes the narrator, telling the story of someone else’s life — in “Prescilla,” she says, There’s a girl that wants to start / been thinking about having a couple of kids. Then she zooms back into first person, as in “Sarah”: But on the dirty tarmac of / the tarmac of the melting motorway / she gave me her clothes and told me take her place, her place, her place.

Khan has no trouble moving from the exotic to the mundane and back again — bats and suicide, love as an ocean and love that makes you feel sorry for yourself — all showcased by that fabulous voice and a stunning variety of orchestral background. This is the one that should’ve won the Mercury prize, in my humble opinion. It takes chances and even when they fail, they’re head and shoulders above the pack.

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Two for the price of one. First the bad, then the good. Because that’s how my mother taught me to eat dinner.

I Don’t Like These Things:

1. Beirut’s new album. Holy boring cow. What is it with that Condon guy? Why does everyone like him so much? Let me suggest some alternatives. 1) Calexico. 2) Karsh Kale. 3) Cleaning your ears out with a toothpick — maybe you’re slowly going deaf and you don’t know it.

2. Music festivals. Because I can’t go to any of them. *shakes fist*

3. People that say that Indie Is Dead, and moan about how everyone listens to it. Boo freaking hoo, so what if indie is now mainstream? It’s a good thing! Instead of being forced to hear Rascal Flatts in a can, I have a huge resource base for bands who are still thinking out of the box and producing a quality listening experience. Lots of other people feel the same way. If you’re a big baby who can’t stand other people listening to your precious bands, don’t worry. You still have Xiu Xiu and Destroyer and CYHSY. No one else wants ’em, believe me.

4. “Liveblogging.” It’s like having to read people’s AIM conversations that they thought were soooo funny when they were writing them, but man, you had to be there, trust me. And it clogs up my RSS something fierce.

5. Album covers or videos that feature serious T&A (you know, not just a girl dancing, I can deal with that. You know what I’m talking about — Bangers & Cash, I’m looking at you). Guess what? It’s degrading. If you like that stuff, you’re just one of these people. Don’t fool yourself.

Awesome videos of Awesomeness:

01. Wyclef Jean featuring Akon and Lil Wayne (and Niia)- “Sweetest Girl.” I love the line, “High school, she the girl that make me do a hula-hoop around the gym.” Awww! (Via Culture Bully)

02. Via The Music Slut, we get “Kingdom,” Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode!)’s new song. Me likey.

03. PJ Harvey on French TV. She looks utterly beautiful, and so is the song (via Idolator).

04. The Music Slut also brings us Bat For Lashes performing at the Mercury Awards. Dang, way to hit those notes! I think she’s probably breaking glass in the theater somewhere. *nods approvingly*

05. From The Rawking Refuses To Stop!, a loud, punky British video from a band called Cut Off Your Hands. Which obviously they didn’t, because how are they playing guitar? Riddle me that. The song is called “You & I.”

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Video hookup

I have to clear all the starred items I’ve been saving for you all out of my RSS feeder, so here we go:

01. I Am Fuel has a very beautiful video of Ry Ry doing “Let It Ride” in Boulder, CO. Oh, I think I’m falling for him again now that he’s sober. Ryan, I can’t stay mad at you when you sing so beautifully! Call me.

02. G vs. B showed us the new video from Alela Diane, entitled “The Rifle,” and though it’s a little too Haley Bonar for pure originality, it also kind of rocks all the way around.

03. New & Used Records has the new (semi-new, now) JT video for “Lovestoned/I Think She Knows.” The first part is just genius, I think, but the last part is meh (which is the exact opposite of what I think about the song, ha ha).

04. Fabulist! has Charlotte Gainsbourg’s video “The Operation.” Reminds me of that one Tori video. Is that good or bad?

05. G vs. B has video for Spoon’s song “Underdog.” The video is really neat! And there is mariachi! In the songs where B.Daniels doesn’t sound like he’s singing through a mouthful of oatmeal, I really like Spoon.

06. Each Note Secure highlights the new indie craze, aka Bat For Lashes. I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon, seriously.

07. Fanmade videos are the new orange. Here’s one for Placebo’s “Running Up That Hill,” showcased by the Music Slut. Hey, I just wanted to hear “Running Up That Hill” one more time.

08. Everybody Cares has a video of the National playing a very nice rendition of the only song I like of theirs, “Fake Empire,” played on Ye Letterman.

09. The Music Slut asks the important questions while showing the new KT Tunstall video (“Hold On”). I like it.

10. Sifl and Olly! Scroll down in this Gimme Tinnitus post for “My United States of Whatever,” and hopefully it will bring back pleasant memories. :D

11. The Rawking Refuses To Stop semi-heartily endorses the new album from The Magic Numbers, and I gotta admit I do like the song in spite of the ridiculously cheeseball video. Check out “This Is A Song” (I know) from album “Those the Brokes.”

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