Bat for Lashes didn’t invent mysticism either, though you’d be forgiven for thinking so by reading anything about her in the past years. To be fair, she played it up; had Fur and Gold come out this year, its witchy aesthetic would probably have gotten Khan her own shabby chic Pinterest tie-in and line of scarves. Khan’s since shied away from this, partly because of the inherent cultural appropriation and partly because everyone else is doing it. The Haunted (get redirected here) Man isn’t stripped-down, exactly (despite, again, the cover). If anything, Khan’s arrangements have gotten more intricate and varied; the shimmery new wave that worked so well on “Daniel” is back, but the abandoned orchestra that putters through “Winter Fields,” the piano afterglow of “Oh Yeah” and the twittery bridge of samples on “Marilyn” feel entirely new.
Khan’s sophomore album, 2009’s David Kosten and Khan-produced Two Suns was inspired by a trip she took to Joshua Tree, CA. The album focuses on her desert-born alter ego Pearl, whose personality she adopted while living in New York. Sonically, the material was inspired by the Brooklyn bands that had started to receive attention nationally and internationally at the time — in particularly, TV on the Radio, MGMT, Gang Gang Dance and others. Interestingly, the album also found her collaborating with the members of Yeasayer, who contributed bass and beat programming.