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Bat for Lashes Lost Girls AWAL Records

On Lost Girls, Natasha Khan’s fifth studio album as Bat for Lashes, love and lust come to heads atop rich, layered instrumentation. If 2016’s The Bride was sober and seen through clear eyes, Lost Girls is drunk, exploding with feeling and spinning with small truths.

Khan’s voice is both stronger and more delicate on this album than it has been before. Whereas her heart-gripping highs wobbled with emotion on previous standouts like Laura, the Persian-influenced runs and ascent into a clear falsetto come through as less of a plea and more of a declaration. The instrumentation follows suit: centrepiece instrumental track Vampires offers cool-headed 80s synth lines under a velvety sax solo before diving into the decidedly vintage So Good.

This album feels written for singing along. Choruses are catchy, verses are inviting and basslines lend themselves to snapping your neck back and forth in time, invoking a feeling of driving with the roof down without the bells and whistles of more radio-friendly pop. Khan’s work has always been arresting in its honesty and immediacy; on Lost Girls, she feels her freest yet.