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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 August 2007
Awful name for a band but then people kept mentioning Bjork and Kate Bush in the same sentence as Natasha Khan's band of female musical mavericks, so I decided Bat For Lashes could be ignored no more. Why did I wait!
What made the early Kate Bush and Bjork records so special was their naivety and total lack of self-consciousness coupled with a wonderful, if off-kilter, pop sensibility. And it's that which Bat For Lashes have in spades.
While our two maturing heroines have become increasingly avant guard or insular, Khan remains fresh-faced, up-beat and in love with the melodic possibilities of a simple pop hook. And, hand on heart, there is not a song on the album that has me reaching for the track-skipping switch.
This is a fine record, perhaps the best I have heard in the past 12 months, that deserves a wide audience. We need pop mavericks (even if they do sing about wizards, bats etc) and Natasha Khan more than carries the torch. Great stuff.
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on 14 July 2007
Well, I dont know many albums that start with a harpsichord melody that sounds so simple that it may as well have come out of one of my childhood keyboards, but still retains a certain baroqueness about it. But here we are! Bat For Lashes is essentially Nataschka Khan's band, a gifted singer/songwriter who mixes a Bjork-like individuality with unusual instrumentation and graceful songwriting. The album relies mostly on piano/keyboard/violin melodies and Khan's direct yet soft vocals.

Listening to it, there doesnt seem to be a definitive song for this band, as each of the 11 tracks on offer here sound unique. That doesnt mean they're all winners; all of the songs can be praised for individuality but some for being unmemorable. This, in turn, makes haunting piano-led ballad 'Sad Eyes' stand out, aswell as opener 'Horse And I' with its impressive vocal melodies. Album highlight would be 'The Bat's Mouth', which slowly builds to a beautiful melodic pinnacle of optimism and ends with a lovely quiet ending, touching violin lines and all.

Unusual, varied, slightly moody but not depressing, individualistic and slightly poppy would be the best way to describe it. Whilst 'Fur And Gold' isnt a classic its got plenty of memorable moments on it, and it bodes well for Khan's career if she's making songs this good on her debut.
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on 18 July 2007
We saw this girl and her mostly female band at Glastonbury, and were instantly mesmerised by her melodic voice and the band's members subtle use of the weird sounding instruments and great backing vocals.In addition,they were able to change around instruments between themselves, creating some brilliant music that was in total control all times, a wonderful sound that was different but somehow familiar.

We ordered the CD from Amazon, who were out stock, but it arrived two weeks before they said it would, have been playing it ever since,just magical.

Bob and Barb Townsend
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on 6 November 2006
Halfway through Fur And Gold's opener, Horse & I, you can't help but consider that the time Natasha Khan (the astonishing voice behind Bat For Lashes) spent as a nursery school teacher has given her the inspiration and ability to nurture childhood fantasies as a source of creativity. Dark and initially foreboding, Horse & I - like the rest of this stunning debut album - is the perfect construction of haunting storytelling and deceptively sweet melodies.

While Bat For Lashes is the spooky brainchild of Natasha Khan, her bandmates prove just as adept at creating portentous panoramas. Despite Khan's enchanted voice and theatrical presence, it is the vivid strings on Bat's Mouth create perhaps the album's outstanding poetic dreamscape, and the harpsichord highs of Sad Eyes are as potent an apothecary as any of Khan's vocals.

Debut single, The Wizard, is rife with distant thunderclaps and swirling foggy electonics, while there are elements of Godspeed You Black Emperor! chaos on Seal Jubilee and some bubblegum pop handclaps on Prescilla.

While the numerous eccentricies force comparison with Bjork, Kate Bush and Portishead, Fur And Gold is an altogether unique album. Moreover, shadowy, cobweb-draped and not a little bit spooky, it's an album that is not entirely of this world.
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on 25 July 2007
Well, I dont know many albums that start with a harpsichord melody that sounds so simple that it may as well have come out of one of my childhood keyboards, but still retains a certain baroqueness about it. But here we are! Bat For Lashes is essentially Natasha Khan's band, a gifted singer/songwriter who mixes a Bjork-like individuality with unusual instrumentation and graceful songwriting. The album relies mostly on piano/keyboard/violin melodies and Khan's direct yet soft vocals.

Listening to it, there doesnt seem to be a definitive song for this band, as each of the 11 tracks on offer here sound unique. That doesnt mean they're all winners; all of the songs can be praised for individuality but some for being unmemorable. This, in turn, makes haunting piano-led ballad 'Sad Eyes' stand out, aswell as opener 'Horse And I' with its impressive vocal melodies. Album highlight would be 'The Bat's Mouth', which slowly builds to a beautiful melodic pinnacle of optimism and ends with a lovely quiet ending, touching violin lines and all.

Unusual, varied, slightly moody but not depressing, individualistic and slightly poppy would be the best way to describe it. Whilst 'Fur And Gold' isnt a classic its got plenty of memorable moments on it, and it bodes well for Khan's career if she's making songs this good on her debut.
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2007
The hype gave everyone the bullet point references; a bit of Bjork, a sprinkling of Kate Bush...and whilst those are comparisons that are certainly not off the mark, the end product is something that is so much better than labelling the "new" anything.

It was the Phil Spector stylings of "What's A Girl To Do" that first turned me onto Natasha Khan (aka Bat For Lashes). It's 60's tinged pop melody combined with its spoken word vocal to create something that you rarely get from a record these days, an atmosphere. And this is something that carries on throughout the album. If the Arctic Monkeys give us a witty real-life insight into modern-day Yorkshire life, Bat For Lashes transport us to another world entirely. A mystical, ethereal one that draws you in repeatedly until you are lost in the gothic, almost fairytale world that is created.

Of course it may be sounding all a little too far "out there" for it's own good, but fear not. Khan may take us on this otherworldly journey, but she has the good grace to accompany it with some sublime sing-a-long choruses and catchy melodies. Particular highlights include Trophy (again with Khan's narrative vocals), Horse & I and I Saw A Light. But really, this is not an album to skip tracks on, this is an album to immerse yourself in from start to finish. It really is that good.

In my humble opinion, this has to be a front runner for the 2007 Mercury Music Prize
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on 13 March 2016
One of the most original singer/songwriters to appear in the last few years, Bat For Lashes is an astounding audio experience.
If you like Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Goldfrapp, Moloko, Clannad, Enya, Ladytron or retro 80's electropop like New Musik, The Buggles or Sinead O'Connor you will love this.
I came across this artist completely by accident very recently having not heard her later albums ( this being her first) and was immediately blown away - all three of her releases are ethereal, haunting, astonishing and her fourth album The Bride is out in July.
I can hardly wait.
A mind blowing, astonishing and haunting experience.
Five Stars a definite must buy.
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Imagine walking through a forest flooded by golden light, full of mystery and magic, and the sorrow of things that are fading away.

That's sort of the atmosphere of "Fur and Gold," the debut album by Bat For Lashes. The Brighton band -- really a one-woman band for Natasha Khan -- churns out a stream of shimmering, dark, fantastical chamberpop that sounds like the halfway point between Feist and Joanna Newsom.

It opens with the dreamlike "Horse and I," with its throbs of harpsichord and marching military drums (a Jeanne D'Arc influence?). "Got woken in the night/by a mystic golden light/My head soaked in river water," Khan murmurs, sounding both desperate and sleepy. "The smell of redwood giants/A banquet for the shadows/Horse and I, we're dancers in the dark/Came upon the headdress/It was gilded, dark and golden..."

It rises into a desperate plea, as "The children sang/I was so afraid I took it to my head and prayed/They sang to me, "This is yours to wear/You're the chosen one, there's no turning back." The song swells and falls, with Khan murmurs painfully, "There is no turning back/there is no turn..."

Khan does try out some more conventional songs, like the darkly minimalistic "What's A Girl To Do," a haunting, dramatic lament about a fizzled-out affair. But even then, she includes some unique phrases ("And my bat lightning heart/Wants to fly away"). And then there's "Sad Eyes," a painfully loving post-breakup song ("Keep my love as light as a feather").

Then she regains some of that more magical sound, with songs about powerful wizards, black snow, beautiful wild girls who die or grow up, centaurs, haunted forests. It finishes with the exquisite "I Saw A Light," a piano ballad that briefly swells up into a musical storm.... right before Khan says softly, "And I said goodbye."

The music industry doesn't turn out much music like this -- pop music that relies on sensual instrumentation and brilliant songwriting, rather than jiggle or computerized vocals. Fantastical forests and seas, tropical islands, lovelorn urbanites, and magical horses all somehow weave into this -- it's like a long, beautiful dream.

It also has pretty unique instrumentation -- much of it is harpsichord and strings, but there's also plenty of military-style drums, cymbals, some mellow electric guitar, trumpet in places, and a shimmer of autoharp. Khan weaves the sounds together expertly into a dark, lush, velvety tapestry that sounds like the work of a longtime professional.

And somehow it doesn't seem surprising that her vocals fit in perfectly -- she can do husky, soaring, a childlike singsong, or the half-spoken chant of "What's A Girl To Do?", where she seems to be almost conversing with the listener. Often she's backed by a ghostly, sensual chorale, which sounds like her own voice.

"Fur and Gold" is all darkness, gold, feathers and twilight -- a stunning, musically lush, lyrically exquisite pop album. Despite the odd name, Bat for Lashes has genius.
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on 12 March 2016
This album was bought for my sister who doesn't like mainstream music however likes a mix of Electro pop and indie rock music so it was perfect for her. She was very happy to receive this album. It was well packed arrived in good time and the albums in perfect condition making it great for a present.
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on 18 October 2006
I first discovered Bat for Lashes on a not-so-warm night in late June 2006. My husband and I were driving back to our holiday apartment from the Minack Theatre in South West Cornwall. Rob da Bank was on the radio, it was raining, windy and mist was swirling across the narrow country lanes, making it seem more like October than June. Then suddenly the most beautiful track came on the radio that so perfectly fitted in with our surroundings that I was completely mesmerised. It was The Wizard by Bat for Lashes as I found out when I eagerly awaited the announcement at the end of the song.

Once home I regularly checked them out on the internet and was thrilled that a debut album was soon to be released. I was bought the CD for my birthday in September.

All I can say is that I am certainly not disappointed. It is the most beautiful piece of music I have heard in a long time. Yes, there are definite flavours of other artists (for example Natasha's voice has noticeable shades of both Bjork and Emiliana Torrini) but as another reviewer said, none of the album sounds directly like any other artist. It is pretty much unique.

The music seems to be at the same time both sad and yet strangely uplifting and calming, containing some exquisite sequences (the amazing violin on Bat's Mouth; the totally addictive clap-along hand-clapping on Prescilla and the achingly beautiful vocal harmonies on Tahiti).

My favourite tracks are Prescilla and Bat's Mouth (I adore the giggling and whooping that you can hear in the background on Bat's Mouth as Natasha sings "and she's holding him tight in her bat arms..." and it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and brings a tear to my eye) and of course, The Wizard, which just takes me right back to that night in Cornwall and sends shivers down my spine.

I was a Goth in the early to mid 80s and this album makes me want to dress up in a long dress with floaty sleeves, grow my hair long again and twirl around in a dark field, waving my bat arms in the air...

Just wonderful...
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