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02-08-2007
  16
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SomethingElse's Avatar
 
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Link to their website here.

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Success in her dreams - Natasha Khan is working even while asleep, writes Anthony Carew.

NATASHA Khan, the 27-year-old Brit who is Bat for Lashes, has been compared to PJ Harvey, Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Bush and Bjork. Bjork herself has offered effusive praise for Khan; so have Thom Yorke and Devendra Banhart. Incredibly photogenic, with an obvious fondness for dressing up in native American headdress, and earnest enough to call her music an attempt "to create magic, to cast spells on an audience", Khan is a star in waiting, the seeming successor to that mystical/sexual rock-heroine crown.

"Growing up, Bjork and Kate Bush were really important to me," says Khan in her gentle, polite English accent.

"I get tired of being compared to them and I hope that, as time goes on, I'm going to peel away more and more layers of myself to the point where I've made something and become something that isn't comparable. But I understand why it happens.

"As a young teenaged girl, I already had a relationship with music and had already written my own compositions on piano. But until I discovered those artists, it felt like I was missing part of my family. To know your ancestry, to know those who've gone before, is hugely important to any budding, young creative people.

"When I first heard (Bjork and Bush), I thought, 'Oh, so it's OK.' I saw how other people had been interested in the same things as me and had felt as much passion and emotion for sensuality, or spiritual things, or magical, invisible things as I did. Things turned them on the same way they turned me on. It was like getting a pat on the head from an older sister."

Born to a squash-playing Pakistani father and a working-class English mother, Khan's childhood was split between the two countries. Describing herself as being "really geeky and sad at school", Khan spent her days, on either continent, "daydreaming in the garden", playing with tadpoles, spiders and dogs, and praying to aliens.

Befitting someone whose art-school dissertation was on "the artist's preoccupation with childhood and the subconscious", Khan still draws on those days.

"Nick Cave has that quote that 'the child invites tragedy into its life in order that its life become a serious matter', and I think that's a really fundamental idea to a lot of my work," she explains.

"My music isn't something I plonk out on a guitar in a quest to be famous. It's deeply rooted in the things I need to discuss about my childhood, growing up conflicted between two cultures."

On her Bat for Lashes debut, Fur and Gold, Khan explores these ideas through eerie, neo-mystical mantras that match teenaged-poetic lyrics ("my bat lightning heart wants to fly away") to rickety instruments (autoharp, harmonium, hand percussion, piano).

"This album has a lot of its roots in childhood, in themes of moving from a safe, childlike place into a relationship with the big, bad world, where you see that life is not just playing in your backyard," Khan says.

It's a theme being replicated in Khan's adulthood. After writing her debut in relative obscurity, ensconced in the safety of artistic creation, Khan has been drawn out into the big, bad music biz.

"It's frightening, leaving the safety of the nest, of this shelter for dreaming," Khan says.

"But not only is this like leaving childhood behind, it's almost like I'm doing my day job all over again, too. Doing all these business-style things to promote the album is almost like when I was a nursery school teacher, going to work during the day and then stealing moments of creativity at night. Michel Gondry always talks about worlds within worlds within worlds, and it's funny how when you look at your life, it's almost like a kaleidoscope: you see the repetition of shapes over and over again."

Like Gondry, whom she cites as a key influence, Khan is obsessed with her childhood and the imagery of dreams. Believing songwriting comes from "hearing the voices that are trying to speak to you from the deep", Khan is directly inspired by the science of her sleep.

"I saw a whole Bjork concert once, in my dreams," she recalls, with a laugh. "I was like, 'Wow, this new material is amazing!' But they weren't new Bjork songs, they were songs being broadcast from deep within me. It was, like, an hour-and-a-half's worth of songs streaming from my subconscious."

Khan claims that two Fur and Gold tracks - Horse and I and Prescilla - came from dreams.

"Horse and I came from a vivid, visual dream," she says. "A horse came to my window and rode me into the forest where there were the ghosts of children singing. It felt like an initiation into the responsibility of representing my work to the world.

"Prescilla came from a dream where I had two friends sleeping on the floor next to me and they were actually singing (the song) to me. I woke up and thought, 'I have to find out what that song was,' until I realised that it was in my own mind, that it was a song of my own making. That's how I often feel about my songs: they're these brief glimpses into my subconsciousness and I have to catch them as quickly as possible, before they vanish."
theage.com.au . published 2 August 2007

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04-08-2007
  17
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
 
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Incredible

The cover of "I'm on Fire" is so beautiful

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04-08-2007
  18
Stitch:the Hand
 
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^yes and they have it available on itunes finally! it's really one of those rare feats,imo....alot of people attempt to do covers but it's rarely ever their voices,and she really infused her personality and her own emotion in that song. and the arrangements are totally original. only if you listen to the lyrics do you realise it's springsteen!

great i'view btw. thank you.

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04-08-2007
  19
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natasha is lovely

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18-08-2007
  20
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I gather that the second picture from the bottom features our Orchide with Natasha Khan?

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18-08-2007
  21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belowen View Post
The cover of "I'm on Fire" is so beautiful

i adore 'prescilla'

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21-08-2007
  22
Stitch:the Hand
 
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there's a track they released as a promo on 'the wizard' ep called howl,it's really lovely as well. it's got an air of siouxsie but without the guitars....incredibly atmospheric as the other songs and it leaves you conjuring up imagery in your head. you can get that on 7digital.com,if you're interested in hearing and buying.

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04-09-2007
  23
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Mercury Music Prize-How great does Natasha look? {gettyimages.com}
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04-09-2007
  24
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^More
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08-09-2007
  25
Stitch:the Hand
 
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^she's so beautiful! i love that she so appropriately wore that furry coat...

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09-09-2007
  26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
there's a track they released as a promo on 'the wizard' ep called howl,it's really lovely as well. it's got an air of siouxsie but without the guitars....incredibly atmospheric as the other songs and it leaves you conjuring up imagery in your head. you can get that on 7digital.com,if you're interested in hearing and buying.
Thank you for mentioning this, Scott. I think it must be on The Trophy single, though. But yes I'm now dying to hear it, and will definitely buy it right after hitting 'Submit Reply'

Here's the video for What's A Girl To Do?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1wnOUH2jk8

And some more pictures from the Mercury Music Prize Awards. (wireimage.com)
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09-09-2007
  27
a hymn to darkness
 
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Originally Posted by jennifer~ View Post
There need be more bands like this, who aren't afraid to unite so many of my favorite musical elements/influences.
YES! It's such a sensual provocation.

Natasha is lovely and so kooky looking. A woman after my own heart, rly. I love the peacock bits and the inspiring make-up, too.

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Last edited by wheneveriwakeup; 09-09-2007 at 01:06 PM.
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09-09-2007
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Originally Posted by wheneveriwakeup View Post
A woman after my own heart, rly. I love the peacock bits and the inspiring make-up, too.
Yeah, she looks gorgeous! I'm completely in love with her.

The video for What's a Girl to Do? makes me laugh and scares me simultaneously.

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09-09-2007
  29
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^ .... just can't stop watching, right? I love it, too.

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10-09-2007
  30
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i ordered her album off barnes and noble and i get wait to get it soon..
i've loved the little bits and pieces i've heard of her... 'trophy' has been stuck in my head for so long
cant wait til i get it

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