Pearl's Dream

Album: Two Suns (2009)
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Songfacts®:

  • Natasha Khan (aka Bat For Lashes) told Rolling Stone magazine that Two Suns was inspired by intensely personal experiences that followed her Mercury nominated debut set Fur and Gold. She explained that she channeled her new lyrics through two main personas, one of which is Pearl, who according to the album's press release is "a destructive, self-absorbed, blonde, femme fatale of a persona who acts as a direct foil to Khan's more mystical, desert-born spiritual self." Said Khan: "When I was recording and struggling with relationships and being away from home, I would sometimes go out to a bar and get drunk and then dress up as some of the characters on the album. It was like an escapist fantasy - a way for me to help make sense of what I was feeling. It sounds a bit mental but then again, I was feeling a bit mental at the time."
  • According to promotional materials, this song was inspired by Khan's time spent living in Brooklyn on and off since 2007.
  • Yeasayer drummer Chris Keating and bass guitarist Ira Wolf Tuton assisted Khan on this track. She told BBC's Newsbeat about working with the electro wizards: "It was a lot of dancing around the studio really going for it, and drum patterns and pressing buttons and samples."
  • Khan expressed her frustration to Q magazine June 2009 at Pearl being described as an alter ego in the tradition of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust or Beyonce's Sasha Fierce. She explained: "That's cheesy and not what I intended, she's a character, part of my self-conscious."
  • This was released as the second single from Two Suns.
  • Khan explained to Q magazine July 2009 that during her time in New York, she had become fascinated by the ritual of dressing up, having been fascinated by the shape-shifting drag queens in the documentary Paris Is Burning, a number of David Lynch and factory films, as well as reading The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, visiting Cindy Sherman exhibitions and looking at pioneering photographer Diane Arbus's photographs of Mexican women, "with their really thick black eyebrows and very painted white make-up and bright-red lips." The grotesque theatricality of it all appealed, "that kind of real garish version of feminity." And so one night, Khan bought a blonde wig and set about changing herself into Pearl. She said: "It was all something I did quite spontaneously. And my boyfriend and I just went out on the streets of Brooklyn, and he took pictures of me, and they helped me get into the character of these songs."

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