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32. Bat for Lashes – Sad Eyes

22/11/2009

32

Where a lot of songs about wrecked love choose to couch their stories in metaphors of broken wings or mountain paths, Sad Eyes is so affecting because of its realism. Nothing is hidden here. “I’ll have a bath, make the dinner,” sings Natasha Kahn, with a resigned delivery so matter-of-fact that she may as well be compiling a to-do list; “When you smile, those sad sad eyes look sadder and sadder still” – at no point is Kahn reaching for a thesaurus, opting instead for directness as a point of catharsis. The story goes that Kahn recorded Sad Eyes in the small hours, after a long drinking session. That’s believable – her voice sounds parched and weary, but full of gin-fuelled honesty too: the final, sighing “come and spend the night” is so inexorably sad that it’s not difficult to imagine her alone in the dark with her fingers on her piano and her heart on her sleeve. Indeed, with that intimacy, Sad Eyes feels a bit like a distant cousin of Low’s Laser Beam – stark and exquisite, but never uncomfortably raw, and compared with Kahn’s usual more floral imagery, too, the track’s succinctness commands attention.

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