Before I truly begin, "All Your Gold" has drawn comparisons to Gotye's "Somebody that I Used Know," and besides the minimal guitar line in the beginning, I don't really know what to say. I don't know the lyrics, except for the part that is the song title. And I'm not going to listen to that song, even for the sake of journalism. Sorry y'all. I'd prefer to decrease any possibility of it getting stuck in my head and this is about Bat for Lashes, anyway. The song is off of her third album, The Haunted Man, which dropped in October 2012. Bat for Lashes has been one of my favorite artists to rely on to stir my emotions since her debut album Fur and Gold dropped in 2006. I feel like I know exactly how she feels, even when I haven't experienced the particular emotion or experience she is singing about in her song. But there are some songs that resonate and are essential sentimental go-tos. Whether the song is almost literally something I can relate to ("Good Love"), or something I turned into something I can relate to ("Horse and I"), I always feel it so viscerally and find music videos easily made in my head. And she's really good at doing this hauntingly beautiful thing with her voice that is endlessly appealing.
"All Your Gold" is one of the songs that I interpret in my own way sometimes, but I can also use empathy. She describes a time when she was in a relationship with a guy who was shitty, and she is still damaged. Now she's in a relationship with someone who is better and good to her, but she is having a hard time: "I let him take all my gold / and hurt me so bad / and now for you / I have nothing left." She delivers her lyrics with such conviction that I think she would have the ability to fool me, and I don't care. As the final go-around of the chorus takes place and gains momentum at 3:01, the strings really kick in and everything gets a little more dramatic and hard-hitting. And I'm with her the entire time. By the end of that final chorus, as the instrumental plays out, I can feel the pain seeping out as she is coming to terms with what she is going through. She's getting ready to come back. Forget that loser.
The video is in black and white and features Natasha Khan in a series of black and white dresses and bodysuits. She's on a beach and moves about in different poses, or relays the lyrics to us with the emotion that I count on her for. Or she gives the camera this look, and you just know she's feeling that hurt again... I strongly suggest watching a video of this live. There's something about her that is so enchanting and free-spirited as she emotes, or extends her arm and wiggles her fingers to a particular melody. And she smiles at times, and seems like she is genuinely enjoying herself. That's not something that can be said for a good amount of the performers I see, so it's refreshing.
Khan's exuberance is contagious. In her song, "Lilies" I find myself understanding the simple joy of the lilies on the hill she goes on about. I want to join her in singing, "Thank God I'm alive!" as I cry on a cliff overlooking the ocean with my arms outstretched, facing the sun, being accosted by gusts of wind. I think this sounds cheesy, but that's besides the point because it's not even me. It's me channeling the spirit of Natasha Khan.
In a video with little quips about making The Haunted Man, she says, "It's just giving yourself permission to like all your bits. All your dark sides, all your light sides. All the in-between bits. What you think's boring, what you think is eccentric, what you think is unacceptable… I think all of those things are human, and as I develop a more human relationship with myself and feel more comfortable with who I am, I think the music then can be more intimate." A beautiful spirit, indeed. How can you not love her after that?