Bat For Lashes Signs With Mercury KX, Announces Album ‘The Dream Of Delphi’

London-based musician and multi-disciplinary artist Natasha Khan – aka Bat For Lashes – today announces her sixth studio album The Dream Of Delphi, out May 31st. The release will be Bat For Lashes’ first since signing a new deal with acclaimed label Mercury KX, heralding a new era for the three time Brit Award and Mercury Prize nominee. Named after her daughter Delphi, born in California in the locked-down summer of 2020, The Dream of Delphi finds Khan reflecting on early motherhood in her most personal album to date.

Today also sees the announcement of her first run of headline UK shows in five years including a landmark date at The Barbican on June 24th. Tickets go on sale March 1st with artist presale from 28th February, sign up here for access.

The new single is accompanied by a stunning video shot earlier this winter in the English countryside, produced in collaboration with creative director and choreographer Alexandra Green and directed by Freddie Leyden. The official video will form the first chapter of a yet-to-be-announced longform album film, with more information to be revealed soon.

Part pagan invocation, part celestial synth epic, new single and album opener “The Dream of Delphi” marks a stunning return and true-to-form reinvention from Khan. Feeling ancient and astral but at the same time novel and exciting. The album invites the listener through a journey of devotional love songs about the spirituality, ancestry and folklore; but also the mundane, selfless and tender aspects of child rearing that all mothers can attest to.

Speaking on the track, Natasha adds: “This is the manifesto of the album. It’s like a spell being cast. It’s the conjuring, the manifestation, the drawing-down of Delphi from the ether. This is me calling on her soul. It’s about going up into the stars and down into the underworld simultaneously, how celestials and deep guttural sounds can come together, how that reflects the journey I went on. It’s about what happens when you’re stretched physically, mentally, even vaginally! I think it’s just humbled me, too, becoming a mother. It’s made me feel more vulnerable than I’ve ever felt before. But I feel more human, more embodied. I can’t escape life by making beautiful things as much as I did. But there’s sort of a beauty to my mortality now.”

“Motherhood I thought would take me away from my art, but it opened up this massive world,” continues Natasha Khan, six albums into a career of vivid creative shifts, examining female archetypes in conceptually rich, musically rewarding explorations – but none of them as personal, raw or vulnerably powerful an experience as “The Dream Of Delphi”.

Constantly searching for untapped places in herself to make work, Khan suddenly found an extra, fleshy, fertile, raw layer after giving birth to her daughter in the Covid lockdown summer of 2020 – snatching moments in pregnancy and early motherhood to improvise and write, embracing gut instinct and emotional directness, then eventually self-producing what could be her boldest rebirth so far. The Dream Of Delphi is certainly her most intuitive and most deeply felt record, an ambitious, tender suite of abstract, almost spiritual songs – Natasha calls them her “song poems” – alongside haunting instrumentals that express the ineffable.

In The Dream of Delphi, we meet the Motherwitch: the name Khan gives to the armour she puts on when she is exploring the depths and peaks of herself in her new capacity as a parent and protector. “I’ve turned the mother in me into this more potent, heightened archetype of the aspects of myself that are a mother. [The Motherwitch] helps me be able to take something so vulnerable and personal out into the world – I felt I couldn’t just do it as Natasha, because it’s so, so deep.”

Moments of quiet domesticity sit amongst flashes of existential wonder in these ten spiralling compositions. Lyrics about the break-up of Natasha’s relationship with Delphi’s father interweave with the place of the mother in the never-ending cycle of life, death and rebirth. Ideas and sounds both ancient and modern also mesh mesmerisingly together, pianos, bass flutes and harps blending with organs, mellotrons and the whirling sound patterns of synthesisers, inspired by her love of female and trans artists like Delia Derbyshire, Constance Demby and Beverly Glenn Copeland, and her longstanding interests in ambient and orchestral film soundtracks.

After teasing new music and live staging last year as part of the Christine & The Queens curated Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre, Bat For Lashes will take to the stage again this summer for her first run of headline concerts for five years with a highly conceptual show that combines movement and elements of performance art alongside her virtuosic vocal performance and live band.

Last year Bat For Lashes released Motherwitch, a hand-illustrated reimagining of Tarot using multiple original female archetypes, visual symbols and an abstract spiritualist painters’ colour palette across 40 cards to provide a storyteller’s guide into the mysteries and beauty of our own internal landscapes. The Motherwitch oracle deck lands somewhere between Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s ‘Oblique Strategies’ and the Wild Unknown Tarot Deck, while the deck also stands alone as a bespoke art object in and of itself. The 40 cards were entirely designed and conceived by Khan, creating an oracle deck for use as a tool for the creative process and also as a conduit to the subconscious realms. Produced in collaboration with East London wellness brand She’s Lost Control, the deck is available to purchase.
The Dream of Delphi marks a stark new chapter in the already varied, and critically acclaimed story of Bat For Lashes. Welcome to ‘The Motherwitch’s’ domain.

The Dream Of Delphi Tracklist:
The Dream Of Delphi
Christmas Day
Letter To My Daughter
At Your Feet
The Midwives Have Left
Breaking Up
Delphi Dancing
Her First Morning
Waking Up
The Dream of Delphi (Bonus Extended Strings Version)

Bat For Lashes Tour Dates:
12-Jun Oxford Academy 2, UK
18-Jun Town Hall, Birmingham, UK
19-Jun Beacon, Bristol, UK
24-Jun Barbican, London, UK
25-Jun De La Warr Pavillion, UK
27-Jun Factory International Theatre, Manchester, UK
29-Jun Siren’s Call Festival, Luxembourg|
18-Jul Colours of Ostrava, Czech Republic

Natasha Khan is primarily a musician, singer and songwriter and has been a professional recording artist under the moniker “Bat For Lashes” for the past 17 years. She has recently returned back to the UK after 6 years in California with her 3 year old daughter Delphi. She is a multi-disciplinary artist working not only in music, but also across practices in the visual arts and film. Khan has recorded six studio albums, as well as soundtracks for film, podcasts and television over the course of her career. The singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and director has been praised by critics and audiences worldwide, scoring 5 top 15 UK albums and playing live shows at Coachella, Glastonbury, Latitude and Laneway amongst others. Her musical works have been included in soundtracks for ‘The Twilight Saga’, ‘The Hunger Games’ and campaigns for Thierry Mugler, Chanel, Gucci and Miu Miu. Khan’s songs have been described as distinctively haunting, darkly fantastical and ripe with magic realism, which has garnered three Mercury Prize nominations, three BRIT Awards nominations and two Ivor Novello wins, for Song of the Year and Best Soundtrack in 2019. She has co-directed a majority of her 20 plus music videos, and premiered a short film she wrote and directed at TriBeCa film festival in 2016, all the while keeping up with her visual art practice.