Laura

Album: The Haunted Man (2012)
  • The lead single from Bat for Lashes (Natasha Khan)'s third studio album, The Haunted Man, is a piano and cello-driven imploration to a forlorn friend offering her the strength to fight the battles she is facing. "You're the train that crashed my heart. You're the glitter in the dark. Oh, Laura, you're more than a superstar," sings Khan. The song received its radio debut on July 22, 2012 on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show and was made available as an instant download to people who pre-ordered the album on iTunes.
  • Khan composed the song with Justin Parker, the co-writer of Lana del Rey's "Video Games." She told Mojo magazine: "I'd written all the other songs for the album, but the label were giving me a tough time about there not being any singles. I didn't want to go down the obvious pop route and I noticed there were no piano ballads this time - mainly because I'd bored myself to death doing dark, subversive piano songs. I'd heard the Lana Del Rey stuff and noticed the quality of the writing, and I've always liked '70s singer-songwriter things, so I decided to ask Justin to help me write something that was more of a conventional ballad. We worked on chord structures and other elements, winding our way around each other until we had a really strong piece of song writing."
  • So what inspired Khan's lyrics about her forlorn friend? The night before Khan was due to meet up with Justin Parker, she threw a "debauched" party at her London flat, which left a close friend (not actually called Laura) broken the next day. Khan recalled to Q magazine: "We huddled in bed together and she was having morning-after horrors."
  • As well as writing this for her forlorn friend, Khan also penned it for Venus Xtravaganza, the vulnerable drag queen from the documentary Paris is Burning. The singer told Uncut she had in mind, "everyone in Andy Warhol's entourage of fabulous broken people."

    Khan added: "There are a lot of people I know who are the life and soul of the party but under the glitz and glamour there's a a lot of sadness, so 'Laura' was an ode to all those fragile, beautiful souls. And I think it has succeeded - the person that I wrote it for loved it, and there's always tears when I play it live."

Comments: 1

  • Jo from VtBreaking: The Answer to the Question "Is the Bat for Lashes Song 'Laura' About Laura Palmer?"
    POSTED BY COURTNEY FERGUSON ON WED, APR 17, 2013 AT 3:44 PM
    Back in July, I wondered if the Bat for Lashes song "Laura" was about Laura Palmer. See. Well, last week I spoke with Bat for Lashes mastermind Natasha Khan as she was prepping for the first show of her tour. It was a short interview, but this was on the top of my list of interview questions:

    IS "LAURA" ABOUT LAURA PALMER?! I MUST KNOW!

    Well, here's the answer, straight from the Bat's mouth:

    "I guess the story's in the lyrics. It was written about a close friend of mine, my experience I had with that person at a party and the aftermath of the party. But really I think that's my own personal story that I don't really want people to think about too much when they hear the song, because I think it's the type of song that people take into their own hearts. It seems to affect people and they have their own story or their own Laura or their own memories of being like Laura. I think there's a universal theme about vulnerability, escapism, and the way human beings try to be dazzling and fabulous and beautiful even when they're really hurting on the inside. We all understand that. Sometimes we want to drink and dance on the tables and escape that feeling. It's saying sometimes the real person and their vulnerability is really beautiful, and it doesn't have to be sparkly and perfect."

    BUT IS IT ABOUT LAURA PALMER, NATASHA? YOUR VIDEO HAS RED CURTAINS AND AN AUTOPSY-LOOKING TABLE AND LAURA PALMER WAS ALSO STUCK IN A PALE-BLUE DREAM (KINDA).

    "People have said that [it reminds them of Laura Palmer]. I loved Twin Peaks when I was younger. It was on TV and I was so scared and freaked out by it, but I was really compelled to keep watching."

    Well, I guess the answer is no, it's not about Laura Palmer. But she is a fan. Hmm, unless maybe Natasha's real name is Donna Hayward and that friend she was talking about was.
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