words by Carlos Duarte

When Natasha Khan deviated from Bat For Lashes last year with the arresting, primal nature of the SEXWITCH project, she left fans to wonder when the two time Mercury Prize nominee would return with a true follow up to ‘The Haunted Man’. After several months of teasing, Khan revealed ‘The Bride’, a truly fascinating concept album that delivers classic Bat For Lashes vibes with a tragic romantic narrative.

On her fourth record, Khan tells the sad tale of ‘The Bride’, a mournful heroine that the listener becomes enchanted with as they make their way through the 13-track LP.

The opening cut ‘I Do’ sets the scene with its celestial autoharp and the titular maiden’s musings of accepting her true love’s proposal. The beauty of that moment is marred however by the following ‘Joe’s Dream’, a foreboding, melancholy lullaby where the groom-to-be confesses to seeing his own death in a dream. Once the menacing ‘In God’s House’ hits its stride, Khan’s penchant for vivid lyricism paints a picture of a bewildered, sad woman whose love has been killed in a car accident.

From that point onward, ‘The Bride’ becomes a journey about finding oneself through the midst of tragedy and getting to a point where it’s possible to admit that one will one day love again. The ethereal production, combined with Khan’s signature mystical vocals create a stunning, unnerving and ultimately glorious record that continues The Bat For Lashes tradition of beguiling baroque-pop.

Rating: ★★★★

‘The Bride’ is available now through Warner Bros Records.

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