“Lilies,” the four video for Bat for Lashes’ album The Haunted Man, is an amazing artistic effort. It mixes images of singer Natasha Khan against starry, minimal backdrops with intricately composed stop-motion creations like beastly, cute puppets, geometric golden robot suits, and mossy forestry. It looks like she’s living in a composite of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Where the Wild Things Are, which is to say it rules.
Khan made the video with the Hornet Workshop animation studio in Brooklyn last summer. The studio is well-known for making videos with Björk and Regina Spektor, as well as advertisements for McDonalds, eBay, Nike, and other big corporations. The shoot was detailed in a Bat for Lashes feature article on Pitchfork that was published in the fall:
The first day of shooting required her to sit mouthing the “thank god I’m alive!” climax frame-by- frame for over nine hours, as part of a stop-motion sequence. The final animation has a wave made of shaving foam as well as streaks of lightning pouring out of her mouth, and specks of glitter shimmering around her face.
The video is a fantastical thing, co-starring three large, Jim Henson-inspired puppets: one that looks like Big Bird’s evil brother, standing at least nine feet tall, a giant sea monster with huge pink lips, and another, with cat eyes, an elongated pig’s nose, and horns sprouting from its head, that could have been an extra in Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. A big guy with a ponytail and goatee is getting ready to inhabit the horned beast—he’s got the bottom half of the suit on, and he’s beginning to shine in front of the hot lights. “He’s gonna sweat his balls off,” cackles a fellow puppeteer, looking on.