Daniel (Bat for Lashes song)

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"Daniel"
Single by Bat for Lashes
from the album Two Suns
Released 1 March 2009 (2009-03-01)
Format Download, 7"
Recorded Natasha Khan's house, Brighton; Bryn Derwen Studios, Wales; Magic Shop Studios, New York; DK Studio, London
Genre Synthpop, dream pop
Length 3:29 (radio edit)
4:09 (album version)
Label Parlophone
Producer(s) Natasha Khan, David Kosten
Bat for Lashes singles chronology
"What's a Girl to Do?"
(2007)
"Daniel"
(2009)
"Pearl's Dream"
(2009)

"Daniel" is the first single from Bat for Lashes' second album, Two Suns. It is her best selling single to date, selling over 46,000 copies worldwide. The song was announced as the lead single from Two Suns in January 2009, then released as a digital download single on 1 March 2009, and as a 7" vinyl single on 6 April 2009. The track was written by Natasha Khan and produced by David Kosten, as with all tracks on the album. Ira Wolf Tuton from Yeasayer provided the bass lines for the song and Khan did the rest of the instrumentation herself.[1] Khan said in an interview with The Sun newspaper that "Daniel" is based on a fictional character that she fell in love with as a teenager.[2] The single's cover features Khan with an image of the character Daniel LaRusso, from the film The Karate Kid, painted on her back. A character much like LaRusso also features at the end of the music video which goes with the song. The B-side of the 7" is a cover version of a 1980 single by The Cure.

Reception[edit]

"It's, like, the most frightening song on the record for me, because it's the most straightforward, naive and purposely simple song I've ever done. It's about teenage escapism and love and how simple things can be when you're a teenager in love, or how intense and beautiful it can be. I love songs like Pat Benatar's 'Love Is a Battlefield,' like when you sing them, you want to be leaning out the window of a car with the stars shining. And I felt like I wanted to encapsulate that feeling of abandon and love and sadness and melancholy, all at the same time."

— Natasha Khan's comment about the track, in an interview with MTV in April 2009

[3]

Digital Spy said that "Daniel" is "probably the most immediate thing Khan has recorded. Both synthy and mystical-sounding, and filled with poetic lyrics about "marble movie skies" and "the smell of cinders and rain," it could almost pass for a lost Stevie Nicks track from the early eighties. Khan's velvety voice, meanwhile, remains as enchanting as ever, so here's hoping a few more people get to hear it."[4] NME said the song "relives ghostly memories of her first love and sounds like Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" filtered through the weeping circuits of a broken-hearted android."[5] Gigwise said "a poppy work of kosmik disko à la Empire of the Sun as a sexy working of electric violin and vocal overdubs are strapped to the beats and bones of a mythic love song."[6] Pitchfork Media likewise gave it a highly positive reception, awarding the single 9/10, describing the vocals in the song as "alternately commanding and fragile" and describing the song as "her 'Running Up that Hill'."[7] At the end of the year, Pitchfork also rated "Daniel" the 4th best song of the year.[8] The video for "Daniel" was named the 11th best video of the year by Spin Magazine in their "Top 20 Best Videos of 2009" countdown.[9]

Track listings[edit]

Download
  1. "Daniel" – 4:09
7"
  1. "Daniel" (Cenzo Townshend radio edit) – 3:29
  2. "A Forest" – 3:09
Promo 12"
  1. "Daniel" (Duke Dumont Remix) – 3:36
  2. "Daniel" (Death Metal Disco Scene Remix) – 6:50
  3. "Daniel" (Death Metal Disco Scene Dub) – 5:46

Music video[edit]

Bat for Lashes being carried by the figures in the music video, "Daniel".

Directed by Johan Renck,[10] the music video was released in March 2009.[11] The music video starts with Khan in a room, alone, singing the song; and when the chorus sets in, black-clad "shadow" figures come from out of the dark and start to surround her. Khan appears undaunted as she continues singing. The figures touch her and pull her, and soon she is carried by them. Khan struggles to break free, but they hit her multiple times and she faints. The scene then changes to Khan driving a car, presumably escaping from the figures, looking scared and desperate. She seems unaware of the fact that the figures are on the roof of the car. While she drives, one of the figures enters the car from above to the backseat and caresses her shoulders. Khan gives a pleased expression while being caressed, possibly thinking it was Daniel, the man she is singing about in the song. When she turns around, she discovers to her shock that it is not Daniel, but the figure. She appears frightened and she turns the car left and right swiftly to shake the figure(s) off. The figures slowly disappear. As she continues driving, a boy (Daniel, dressed similarly to the character of Daniel LaRusso from the film The Karate Kid) appears in the middle of the street, and she stops the car and runs up to him and embraces him, and at the last shot she smiles into the camera, glad to find him.

At the MTV VMAs 2009, "Daniel" was nominated for best Breakthrough Video.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) 47
Belgian Singles Chart Ultratip (Wallonia) 22
Polish Singles Chart[12] 32
UK Singles Chart 36

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
UK 1 March 2009 Parlophone Download
UK 6 April 2009 Parlophone 7" R6768

Covers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Daniel". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  2. ^ Simon Cosyns (10 April 2009). "David Attenborough? I love him. I wish he was my husband". The Sun. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  3. ^ 04/07/2009 16:59:00 (2009-04-07). "Bat For Lashes' Two Suns Is Full Of 'Unusual Pop Music' - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  4. ^ Published Monday, Mar 30 2009, 10:22 BST (2009-03-30). "Bat For Lashes: 'Daniel' - Music Singles Review". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  5. ^ "NME Track Reviews - Track Review: Bat For Lashes". Nme.Com. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Bat For Lashes: "Daniel" | Tracks". Pitchfork. 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  8. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 100 Tracks of 2009 | Features". Pitchfork. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  9. ^ Spin Magazine Online: The 20 Best Videos of 2009
  10. ^ http://www.promonews.tv/2009/03/19/bat-for-lashes’-daniel-by-johan-renck/[dead link]
  11. ^ [2][dead link]
  12. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  13. ^ Padgett, Ray. "Song of the Day: Josh Reichmann, “Daniel” (Bat for Lashes cover) » Cover Me". Covermesongs.com. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 

External links[edit]