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Baker's Dozen

Sonic DNA: Natasha Khan Of Bat For Lashes’ Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , May 7th, 2013 08:50

As part of our series of articles previewing this year's Field Day Festival, Natasha Khan roots through her record collection to pick out her 13 top LPs


Björk - Post
I think it's because when I was 12 I had Debut and I really liked that because I was just dancing around singing and enjoying it, quite an innocent record that had some beautiful moments. But really for me Post is an album I heard that was unlike any other at the time which was combining electronic and organic elements and I just really enjoyed delving into that sonic universe that she created, it's so experimental and forward-thinking and unique to her, but it perfectly fit into that time and landscape. I think it's really timeless. I think she has become a certain thing now but on those first four or five albums, for me, she was such a pioneer and so fiercely dedicated to her art and so unique and so closely linked to themes of nature and passion and love and the body and raw childlike feelings, and using all these really exciting instruments and sounds to put across her pop songs.

'Army Of Me' was the first single that came out - [sings intro] - POW! Clanging, massive drums and Michel Gondry was making the videos and I think the album just sonically draws in so many amazing, London early to mid nineties influences. But then having songs like 'Cover Me'. I remember hearing an alternately recorded version of 'Cover Me' which she actually did in a bat cave! You can hear the bats squealing and flitting about, so there's all these kind of sub-bass, deep 808 beat noises that I got really excited about, but she's got like bloody harpsichords and harps and stuff like really archaic chamber music sounds mixed with really heavily electronic digital sounds. So that was a real education, combining those things, because for me, if it's too much of one or the other I miss them a bit. Even on Berlin there's a lot of real instruments but there's synths and stuff going on too - I love it when people combine those things. Also, the eclecticness of the record: she's not afraid to travel from songs like 'I Miss You' which is that type of fanfare to 'Army Of Me' which is dark and techno and 'Hyperballad', which is like fucking four-to-the-floor, but just with all these strings it's super-emotive, a Technicolor dream.