Since Natasha Khan first popped into our consciousness in 2006 with Fur & Gold, a lot’s happened. Weirder, hairier groups have jetted in from the US hoping to do more than imitate The Ramones. A folkier, psychier music has become the norm once more, with the likes of MGMT, Yeasayer and even Devendra Banhart more widely accepted than in The Strokes and Jet era.
Bat For Lashes heralded much of this rebirth (Yeasayer even appear on Two Suns). Khan’s debut was, according to Thom Yorke, “sexy ghost music”, and it’s an apt description (she went on to support Radiohead for much of their 2008 tour). Her wonderfully coquettish approach to sound won hearts worldwide, so a follow-up was something to be patient for.
Two Suns rarely disappoints. On first listen it seems slightly cold, with any analogue warmth seemingly replaced by clicks and pulses. And yes, it’s a concept album about the dual self, but that doesn’t hamper things. Siren Song illustrates the concept perfectly, with its two distinct halves, and The Big Sleep, a vaudevillian Some Velvet Morning for the 00s, finds Scott Walker on call-andresponse vocals. Yes, that Scott Walker, like something from a muso’s book of fantasies. Stunning stuff.