At first, Natasha thought people were going to think she was crazy to put out such song, that it was really “avant-garde”. However, it has been one of the tracks that people have talked about and loved the most.
Music and composition
She told The Guardian that the song is "about making love to someone from the other side." In an interview with Rolling Stone Australia, Natasha said it’s her favourite and there was a struggle to get it right:
"I scrapped everything I’d done on it four days before we were supposed to finish the album, it was a pop song girl-groupy Shangri-Las sounding thing. The record company were quite pleased about it and I was like, ‘Nooooo, I want warped, weird strings all over it and I want it to be really scary and dark!‘ And they were like, ‘Oh no’, but I just wasn’t happy with it, and I knew it wasn’t happy being dressed up in those clothes."
Natasha revealed on her Veeps live stream on 16 May 2020 that the song was originally written on the omnichord and performed it in its original form.
"One of my biggest [struggles] was on a song called "Close Encounters." It has a very folky three-time kind of swing-like melody that's very strong, and all the way up until the last few weeks after I'd been working on the album for years, it had been an old school-girl-group-sounding love song, and it just wasn't sitting right with me. I was having sleepless nights feeling so anxious. In the end, I came into the studio one morning and I was like, We have to scrap everything and start again. Then I set to work with [the composer] David Baron , who has all of these incredible 1930s B-movie string samples that were so eerie and beautiful, and we set to work arranging these strings, and I basically just put my vocal [on top] of these really discordant warped strings. I was worried everyone [was] going to think that I'm really crazy, that this [was] really avant-garde, but it's been one of the tracks that people have talked about and loved the most."
This is the song on The Bride that Natasha Khan is proudest of. She explained to Uncut:
"I'm proudest of 'Close Encounters' because it spent most of the recording as a Shangri Las-style girl group song. In the last week of recording, I knew something was wrong, so I scrapped the whole thing. In one day, we found this really crazy old sample and f--ked it up, put a choir through a Vocoder, added a heartbeat and dark strings. It became exactly what it should be."
- Album version — 04:09
- Livestream at Home. Los Angeles, 2021 (album) — 03:58
- Natasha Khan — songwriting, production, vocals, synths and string arrangement,
- David Baron — programming, synths, string arrangement
- Sandy Bell — backing vocals
- Rachael Yamagata — backing vocals
- Recorded At The Retreat Brighton & Ohayo Mountain, Woodstock, NYC
- Potts, Dianca (17 June 2016). "Music Monday: An Interview with Bat For Lashes". LENNY.
- "Bat For Lashes: 'Even in Sex And The City, the single girls end up with someone'". 7 May 2016. The Guardian.
- "Live Stream from L.A. 🖤 Bat For Lashes". YouTube.