Hey! Guess what? It’s wedding season everybody! Oooh boy, nothing gets me going like weddings, know what I mean? Big crazy ones like they have on TV, with drama galore and maybe people ending up not getting married after all. As long as it’s not mine or my family’s, all bets are off. I want dresses on fire. I want karaoke-related violence. I want Todd from Wedding Crashers screaming at the ocean.
I don’t want death though, that’s usually a little too much for me. Well except maybe in Game of Thrones, then that shit [SPOILER ALERT] happens all the damn time. “Hey, I’m Robb Stark all cool and handsome thinking I’m gonna marry th-” NOPE he gets knifed dead and so does his mom and wife and army. Whoops! Also Joffrey dies at his wedding so there’s that which… is good because he sucks.
But for real, non-HBO death at a wedding is a downer and is too sad. These are difficult times we live in with all sorts of tragedy and stuff, so I like to separate my cry-time from my consumption of media and entertainment.
If you are, however, going to recklessly dangle your negative emotions into the abyss for others to manipulate, you couldn’t do much worse than Bat for Lashes aka Natasha Khan, British “baroque pop” starlet (if that is indeed a genre of music) and creator of The Bride. This is a concept album about a woman whose fiancé dies in a car crash en route to their wedding.
Whoa, that’s a lot to take in all at once. Glad we got all the heavy details out of the way, don’t wanna get too bogged down with the feels. But that’s exactly what you’ll get if you listen to The Bride: a phat-whopping double-dose of straight-to-the-anus emotion. Better strap on your cry-diaper ’cause this shit hits you outta nowhere. Cocked and loaded, ready to blow your bloated heart out of the water. The music is sparse, vocally-centric and rhythmically atypical, almost ambient. The sad-wedding motif is quite clear; song titles like “I Do,” “Honeymooning Alone” and “I Will Love Again” make it hard to forget. But the sadness is deeper than that, more universal than this specific sob story.
Maybe it’s Khan’s history of studying Steve Reich sound installations that makes her music sneak up to your heart like a turtle at a tollbooth. Maybe it’s because her father was once the #12 squash player in the world. Yeah I googled her, so what? Fuck you. Or maybe music is a strong drug not to be taken lightly by anybody, and when you find something that hits this hard you gotta know why before you can move on.
Maybe you should just go listen for yourself and see what this beautifully dark piece is all about.