Natasha was born in to the world famous Khan squash-playing dynasty and travelled the world as a child. "Periods of my childhood were spent in Pakistan? I would adopt different pets along the way and once lost a goat in a sacrificial religious ceremony. I remember falling asleep at night listening to prayers being sung on the wind and wild dogs howling?"
She had a strict religious upbringing until the age of eleven, at which time her parents separated. Natasha, faced with her father's sudden disappearance, began praying to the aliens to bring him back and took to playing the piano in all night free improvisations as a conduit for her pleas.
In her formative years Natasha studied film and music at art school, where her experimental work, influenced by artists including Steve Reich and Susan Hiller, led her to produce multi-media work centred on sound installations, animations and performance. She also qualified as a nursery school teacher where she was the top storyteller and donator of robot, mermaid and monster drawings.
A trip to San Francisco aged 20, which began as a youthful homage to the Beats, ended up being a revelatory time, as upon her return, armed with a suitcase full of stories and songs, Natasha began to form the themes and ideas behind what was to become her musical persona, Bat For Lashes.
The music comes across like a gun that fires wolves. Natasha's majestic vocal howls, whispers and hiccups to a backdrop of soaring strings, esoteric folk instruments, distorted guitar, bass rumbles and thunder-clap drums. The current Bat For Lashes line up is singer Natasha and Ginger Lee who both play a mixture of piano, guitars, harpsichord, autoharp and electronic machines and three string players ? Anna, Mary and Abi ? who double up on percussion.
As a live band, Bat For Lashes' dramatic music creates an intimate, cinematic world, reminiscent of the nocturnal wanderings of Kate Bush and the heartfelt prayers of Cat Power. They have played a string of astounding shows over the last 18 months at venues such as The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, L.A., Le Triptyque in Paris and supported CocoRosie at Scala in London. They have recently been reviewed in Plan B magazine after their performance at Ladyfest and have been personally invited by Devendra Banhart to play at All Tomorrows Parties festival in May 2006.
Bat For Lashes were also hand picked out of 7000 entries to appear on the respected French music journal Les Inrockuptibles CQFD compilation CD of the top 20 new artists of 2006, and have also appeared on The Black and White Skins (Les Disques Du Crepuscule) compilation, along with artists such as Antony and The Johnsons, Diane Cluck, Devendra and CocoRosie.
Natasha composes songs that rise out of a dark, heartbreak wilderness and take you on a journey in to the light. Taking influence from 70's film soundtracks, weather phenomena, childhood Halloween parties and a David Lynchian vision of suburbia, they occupy the tenebrous space between innocence and a loss of innocence and come straight from the storyteller's heart.
Written by Billy Brown December 2005