Listeners who thought Space Project, which utilized recordings from the Voyager spacecraft, wasn’t strange enough will now have a new compilation to pique their interest. Entitled Body of Songs, the collection will explore the deepest parts of the human body instead of the coldest reaches of outer space; in the name of science of course. In his initial appeal to artists 8 months, Professor Hugh Montgomery said he had no doubt "exposure (to the human body) will change you. It's changed me. It's changed everyone I know that deals with patients and it will change you." Changed by the exposure, artists like Ghostpoet and Goldie have already contributed to the cause with the unnerving ambiance of "A Plateful of Liver" and "Electric Abyss"'s frantically building drum and bass.
Now Natasha Khan, under her Bat For Lashes stage name, has contributed to the medical endeavor. And while this project hasn't changed her musical approach, it's given us a remarkably evocative piece of dream pop. Though it's titled "Skin Song" to fit in with the anatomical theme, a better name would be "exhumation." Khan's digging up the corpses of past relationships, "I've blushed and I have bruised, felt the passing of you, I've bled, and I have healed." Hearing her dispirited moan plied to muted drumbeats and reverberated guitar is crushing. It's a reminder that there are some things time can't bury in the sand. That sometimes we're stuck wishing for the best, "I hope he's an old, good friend of mine." What Khan's forgetting though is our bodies are constantly replacing withered cells with new ones. Red blood cells turn over about every four months. White blood cells begin again every year on average. And the skin cells Khan's whispering about are shuffled off in two to three weeks. While we don't become a new person, we're given a fresh start.
(You can hear "Skin Song" now through Pitchfork and watch a teaser trailer for the project below.)