I love Bat for Lashes. I mean, I'm a huge fan of flailing, wailing-type female musicians in general (Stevie, Kate, Florence) but I think my love for Bat for Lashes, aka Natasha Khan, runs a little deeper than that.
Firstly, because her newly released third album, The Haunted Man, is possibly one of the best records I've ever purchased and is one of the few records that doesn't have a track I don't like on it. Seriously worth buying too as one of the best tracks - the spooky, festive Lumen - is a bonus track. But if not, listen to the title track and Winter Fields until Spotify blocks it.
And secondly, because Natasha herself is one of those brilliant stars who manages not to be a star, while saying all the right sort of empowering things demanded of a true icon. As an extensive and insightful interview with Pitchfork (which is worth a click to marvel at the gorgeous presentation) reveals, following the world tour to promote her second album Two Suns, she returned home to her Brighton flat alone and single. But unlike Adele and her ilk who turn their heartbreak into beautiful yet bitter records, Natasha took the time and put in the effort to transcend heartbreak and produce an album of incredible power and scope. It's got the blistering, raw and epic power of a truly awe-inspiring creative soul, and showcases what you might expect from a person who, instead of forcing themselves halfheartedly through the creative process, has sat down quietly with themselves, and themselves alone, in a dark room, until they were happy to emerge, hand in hand with themselves, and come crashing back into the world with the best album of their career to date.
And also, because she says stuff like this about her appearing naked on the album cover.
Update: I went to her gig last night in the HMV Forum, Kentish Town. Absolutely mind-blowing. She has incredible energy and never missed a note, even while dancing energetically to every song that wasn't 'Laura'. If you get a chance, see her live - a performer of the highest order.