Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Things I Liked This Decade: M.I.A. and Bat For Lashes

Maya Arulpragasm and Natasha Khan are both from southern Asia, but grew up in Britain. They’re both amongst my favourite female solo artists this decade, and have both inspired me through their making of some very powerful music (yes, this post might just be cheese-fest ’09). They're both strong women who aren't afraid to take liberties with the music they make or, indeed, the clothes they wear.

Musically, however, they’re both very, very different

.

M.I.A. is probably just as famous for her politics and odd dress-sense as her fantastic fusions of just about every type of music; perhaps most notably the electronica, hip-hop and world genres, and her lyrics visit both the upbeat world of relationships and grittier subject matter such as war, drugs and immigration.

Conversely, Bat For Lashes almost lives in a dream world, with strange but wonderful songs about inner-conflict, love and wizards; the songs seem hard to place chronologically as the instruments vary from harpsichords and musical saws to synths and drum kits. In a world where there are so many problems, Khan’s fantastical songs are perhaps just as relevant as M.I.A.'s - escapism through music is just as important, if not moreso, than making some sort of statement.

They didn’t have to do scantily-clad dance routines or win a reality TV show to get an audience, they just made relevant music and stuck by their convictions. I have much respect and love for these two.

MP3 - Bat For Lashes - 'A Forest (cover of The Cure)'

MP3 - Buraka Som Sistema ft. M.I.A. -'Sounds of Kudura'

Or go to the HMV website or something and buy their stuff.

4 comments:

TheRabbit said...

First time caller.

I agree with all the above. I made the connection with their backgrounds only recently, so glad to see I'm not the only one. I'm a fan of Norah Jones as well, who is also of Asian heritage. So there you go, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. And they all live/d in Brooklyn.

Tara said...

Agreed on the Norah Jones front; good call. Admittedly I don't love her as much as these two, but I do like listening to her when I want to relax - her voice is amazingly soothing.

Anyway, thanks for reading :)

TheRabbit said...

Well I've always thought she was quite talented but she hasn't quite fulfilled potential. Her last two albums were mediocre.

But you should check out her latest album. It's not amazing, but she has gone in a more interesting direction than her previous stuff.

Tara said...

Yeah, I've admittedly never quite made it through her first two albums, although I do like the singles - and can also see why those particular songs were released as singles.

She does have a lovely voice though, I'll be sure to check out the latest album - thanks for the tip!