"Kids in the Dark" ushers in Bat for Lashes' fifth album on a wave of cinematic synths that sounds like sunset and open road. It's the perfect introduction to a conceptual cycle that finds London-bred singer-songwriter Natasha Khan inhaling a throwback version of her new LA home base. Khan is no stranger to inhabiting complex characters (the widow of 2016's The Bride) and motifs (the fairy-tale fantasies of her debut, Fur and Gold), and likewise, Lost Girls hinges on Nikki Pink, whom Khan has described as "a more Technicolor version" of herself. In addition to its clear nods to the 1987 film The Lost Boys, the record takes cues from the original screenplay Khan was working on upon her relocation, inspired by '80s kid flicks and vampire films, and blows them out in neon songs, tinged with drama and romance.
The saxophone-laden instrumental "Vampires" calls to mind retro climactic scenes where imminent peril is blocked out by hope, while the disarmingly bright "So Good" embodies the kind of glamorous and carefree existence we often ascribe to the past. "Why does it hurt so good?" she begs on the hook, projecting all of the delight and none of the suffering. Khan is a master of conjuring thematic atmosphere, but here, she inhabits her era with particular gusto. In a pop culture landscape that remains obsessed with nostalgia, on Lost Girls, Khan transforms the familiar tropes of the past into something that feels fresh and revelatory—we are able to see old things anew, through the eyes of a person she's never been in a time and place she's never lived.
Kids In the Dark
Feel For You
10 Songs, 38 Minutes
September 6, 2019
℗ 2019 Bat For Lashes under exclusive license to AWAL Recordings Ltd