The Haunted Man

The Haunted Man

by Bat for Lashes



Natasha Khan's two previous Bat for Lashes albums -- 2006's Fur and Gold and 2009's Two Suns -- were lavish affairs from their cover images to their intricate songs. However, The Haunted Man's album artwork, which depicts Khan as naked except for the also nude man slung over her shoulders, was one of the first hints that she was taking a slightly different tack with this set of songs. More proof came with "Laura," the soft, spare ballad she picked to be the album's lead single. While Khan explored her flair with character studies on Two Suns, this song's intimacy and the keenly observed details in lyrics like "your tears feel hot on my bedsheets" felt more like a natural progression from songs like "Sad Eyes," off of Fur and Gold. As that album (and Two Suns' more restrained moments) showed, Khan's singing and writing are more than strong enough to be more or less naked, and she finds freedom in this throughout most of The Haunted Man. Feeling alive is a refrain on many of these songs, most vividly on the proudly sexual "Oh Yeah," where Khan is "waiting like a flower to open wide" and the unearthliness of her upper register adds a fairytale sparkle to her desire. This mix of rawness and delicacy makes her among the best of all the Kate Bush disciples dotting the early 21st century pop landscape at emulating the will-o-the-wisp willfulness of La Bush's work, particularly on the silvery, shivery opening track "Lilies" and "Winter Fields," which soars above the English countryside with just a little bit of fear shading its wonder. When The Haunted Man strays from these sparer sounds, the results are mixed: the tribal/primal rhythms and vocals on "Horses of the Sun" add to its rough-hewn beauty, but the electronic squiggles and processed vocals on "Marilyn" are distracting and indulgent. Still, much of The Haunted Man caters to Khan's strengths, and songs such as "All Your Gold," "A Wall," and "Rest Your Head" are among the catchiest she's written in some time. Focus and restraint might not sound exciting in and of themselves, but The Haunted Man is more direct than any of Bat for Lashes' previous work, and manages to keep the air of mystique around Khan that has made her one to watch and listen to since her early days.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/22/2012
Label: Capitol
UPC: 5099932704921
catalogNumber: 27049

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bat for Lashes   Primary Artist
Sally Herbert   Conductor
Steve Russell   Double Bass
Adrian Utley   Synthesizer,Guitar
Michael Kearsey   Trombone
Bruce White   Viola
Ian Humphries   Violin
Richard Watkins   French Horn
Everton Nelson   Violin,Leader
Rob Ellis   Drums,Marimbas,Choir, Chorus
Ian Burdge   Cello
Sophie Harris   Cello
Nick Barr   Viola
Dan Carey   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano
John Metcalfe   Conductor,Sampling
Ben Christophers   Choir, Chorus
Chris Worsey   Cello
Sarah Jones   Background Vocals
David Andrew Sitek   Synthesizer
Natalia Bonner   Violin
Richard Pryce   Double Bass
Sam O'Kell   Horn Engineer
Daniel Newell   Trumpet
Vicci Wardman   Viola
David Kosten   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Vocoder
Chris Vatalaro   Timpani
T.J. Allen   Synthesizer
James Ford   Synthesizer
Kate Robinson   Violin
Natasha Khan   Synthesizer,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Autoharp,Celeste,Cymbals,Drums,Harmonium,Harp,Vocals,Thumb Piano,Bells,Sampling,Mellotron,Shaker,Omnichord
Tariq Khan   Synthesizer
Tom Pigott-Smith   Violin
Rick Koster   Violin
Louisa Fuller   Violin
Finn Vine   Guitar
Eliza Marshall   Flute,Bass Flute
Beck Hansen   Synthesizer,Guitar
Leo Taylor   Drums
Oliver Langford   Violin
Lucy Railton   Cello
Jeremy Pritchard   Bass
Michael Spearman   Drums
Maximillian Bailey   Viola
Brendan Ashe   Piano,Choir, Chorus
Ali Doda   Violin
Jeff Moore   Violin

Technical Credits

Sally Herbert   Arranger
Alexis Smith   Engineer
Rob Ellis   Additional Production
Dan Carey   Programming,Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Atmosphere,Beat Programming
Charlotte Hatherley   Arranger
John Metcalfe   Arranger,Programming,Orchestral Arrangements
Justin Parker   Composer
Dean Nelson   Engineer
Sam O'Kell   Engineer
David Kosten   Programming,Producer,Engineer,beats,Beat Programming,Additional Production
Kato Ådland   Engineer
James Ford   Programming
Natasha Khan   Composer,Programming,Producer,String Arrangements,Concept,Woodwind Arrangement,Beat Programming
Cassidy Turbin   Engineer
Mo Hausler   Engineer
Beck Hansen   drum machine,Beat Programming
Tom Loffman   Engineer
Oliver Langford   Arranger,String Arrangements
Drew Smith   Engineer
Cole Marsden   Engineer
Brendan Ashe   Choir Arrangement

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