It’s not that long into Sexwitch – the new album/project from Bat For Lashes‘ Natasha Khan and TOY – for you to hear the first blood-curdling (or is that orgasmic?) wail. Khan starts her trance on Ghoroobaa Ghashangan, a reworked Iranian track, and its occult-bothering flavour is resolutely hypnotising. Khan is so lost in abandon, more liberated than we’ve ever heard, that we’re in the centre of that maelstrom right with her.
Whether you’re ready for that ridiculous name or not, Sexwitch casts a spell of transfixing psychedelia. War In Peace – the only inspiration taken from the English language – is less about actual words as it is a conversation of feelings being exhaled. And Ha Howa Ha Howa‘s “he addicted me, I addicted him” refrain punctuates more of that swirling dervish of a vocal, ever clouded by the dense sandstorm of guitar fuzz.
More importantly, Sexwitch doesn’t feel like a shock exercise in cultural appropriation, despite its rather unsubtle name. Instead, all source material, whether its Moroccan or Thai, is treated with reverence and quite rightly communicated in the most accessible way to an audience that might not necessarily hear these compositions. It’s not a perfect album by any means, but six tracks are more than enough to get the sense of Sexwitch. It’s a thrill, an eerie experience, and a cauldron full of otherworldly treasures.
Sexwitch by Sexwitch can be ordered here.