When Bat For Lashes -- aka Natasha Kahn's -- brilliant new album Two Suns came out in April, there wasn't a review that didn't describe her as "The New Kate Bush." In a new interview with Out magazine, she talks about the comparison, how everyone from Warhol to drag queens inspired the new album, and more.
I cut a bit for the tl;dr crowd but you can read the whole thing at the source.
Out: Every review I’ve read of Two Suns refers to you as “the new Kate Bush.” Did you grow up listening to her? Are you a fan?
Natasha Kahn: I’m definitely a fan. I think she is an amazing artist and her body of work is so incredible and she’s had such a long career and has taken so many risks. I think as someone to kind of look up to, she’s a real inspiration. People compare me to her quite a lot but on the last record it was like, “I really compare you to Bjork.” This one’s Kate Bush -- maybe next time I’ll be Nico if I play harmonium or something. [Laughs.] People kind of latch on to certain names and maybe because I am using more electronic instruments -- I don’t know why -- this one seems to be getting more Kate Bush references. But I do love her and Bjork and all those women but I hope people realize I’ve got my own thing to say as well.
Speaking of Bjork and Kate Bush -- gay audiences certainly love their unconventional female artists. Have you noticed that you have a particularly strong gay following?
It’s always the beautiful boys with the glitter on that come to the shows and make me feel really happy that they’re into in. In London, The Gay Times has been a real supporter of my work. And my cousin Jason is super gay and says all his friends just love it. For me, personally, I love that underground scene and a lot of the old documentaries, especially from New York, like Paris is Burning and Jack Smith and The Destruction of Atlantis and all these crazy performance artists that are gay and fabulous. I just love it.
I read that drag queens were a big influence on your style --
I don’t know about my style so much, but I think drag queens and fictional characters in books like Last Exit to Brooklyn I was reading when I moved to New York and Andy Warhol’s whole situation with The Factor and Velvet Underground. I love Lou Reed. I feel like the sort of subterranean cinematic characters you hear about are associated with the gay scene of fabulous strange people are really inspiring. And the makeup for Pearl, who is a character on Two Suns, I explore that really garish sort of symbolic feminine makeup like the lashes and the blonde wig, which kind of got into all that.
There's also this great short video interview with her -- she's so f-in cute I want to kidnap her and then put lowfat coolwhip on her face and then eat it: