Bat For Lashes’ “Two Suns” is immediate confirmation that Natasha Khan is not simply a costumes-and-theatrics heir to Kate Bush. Khan’s exoticism is backed up by rich, sumptuous songcraft on this sophomore collection, fulfilling the promise of 2006′s “Fur and Gold” and its great Goth-pop single, “What’s a Girl to Do?” And while comparisons to Bush might be inescapable for Khan at the moment, they have never been more apt: the first single, “Daniel,” is Khan’s “Running Up That Hill,” a haunting percussion-and-viola fueled ballad whose chorus contains possibly the most penetrating musical hook of 2009.
Though the soaked acoustics are pleasant enough, Bat for Lashes’s true message seems more ably expressed by “Glass.” Steamy and mystical, the song is to Two Suns what “The Wizard” was to Fur and Gold, a defining piece that builds and crashes in marvelous tides. As “Glass” escalates and ricochets, listeners will realize that no matter the melancholy antics and nightmarish landscapes, Khan is carrying a hopeful torch throughout. Thus, Two Suns is a shared journey for artist and audience, where both tread through the darkness and into a musical promised land. For Khan or any comparable artist, there can be no greater accomplishment.