Music ID: Bat for Lashes

Fashionable musicians, who fascinate us with their music and style.

Text: Yiota Dendrinou

Headbands, feathers, new wave makeup, long dark hair with bangs. This is, certainly, the style identity of Natasha Khan, aka Bat for Lashes, which made many girls, a few years ago, eager to follow her hipster chic dress code.

Natasha Khan in Marios Schwab SS09, photo: Hedi Slimane for Another Magazine

Bat for Lashes made her debut back in 2006 with the album Fur and Gold that gave her two nominations at the BRIT Awards. The album received universal acclaim; a reward for Khan who had wrote the songs, did the vocals and played most of the instruments. An all-time favorite single from this album will always be “What’s a girl to do”. In the video she is wearing a light blue sweater with a glittery stamp and rides her bike in the night, while several others with animal heads are following her on their BMX bikes. Pretty psychedelic, right?

For her first work, she has stated that she was free to be creative and picking things that didn’t necessarily fit together.

“I’d always had a love, more intellectually, of Native American folklore and I really liked strange photographers like Diane Arbus and all the beautiful drag queens of New York, and I really loved Nick Cave and his gothic dark things. I had a lot of love and obsessions I guess.”

Her second album was released in 2009 and was titled Two Suns. Its concept focuses on Bat for Lashes’ desert-born, blonde alter ego Pearl. The first single “Daniel” was her first hit in the UK. MTV Iggy described both albums as “at once haunting and way danceable”. Moreover, a song worth listening from the second album is “Pearl’s dream”.

As for her hero when she was growing up, Kurt Cobain was the one she loved since she thought that “he was so cool because he wore ripped jeans and t-shirts and didn’t care.” Bat for Lashes has a striking collaboration with the world of fashion when she was recruited by Gucci to make a cover for Depeche Mode’s “Strangelove” for the advertising campaign of Gucci Guilty.

On 15 October 2012, her third and long awaited album “The Haunted Man” will be released in the UK. But there are some striking differences in Khan’s style. Her long hair has been transformed into a bob cut with fringe, her shredded T-shirts have been replaced by simpler dresses such as the ones she wears in her new video “Laura” and finally her makeup is plain, nothing like the vivid colors she used to paint her face with. The video for her second single from the new album is called “All your gold”, directed in black and white in a beach and Bat for Lashes couldn’t get dressed in anything but these monochromatic tones.

Whether it’s her old, hippie with Native American references style or her new more geometrical choices; Bat for Lashes will always fascinates us with her exotic beauty and her beliefs such as “I feel like women can be sexy in a powerful and unusual way, it doesn’t have to be obvious.” She, certainly, is a great example.