Bat For Lashes
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Bat For Lashes
The-bride-cover.jpg
Bat For Lashes
Writer(s) Natasha Khan
Producer(s) Natasha Khan
Released July 1, 2016
Recorded 2016
Length 04:09
Single(s) "In God's House"
"Sunday Love"
"Joe's Dream"
Promotional single(s) "I Do"
"If I Knew" / "In Your Bed"
The Bride track listing
"Never Forgive The Angels" "Widow's Peak"

"Close Encounters" is a song performed by Bat For Lashes. It serves as the seventh track on Bat For Lashes' fourth album, The Bride.

Background[]

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.[1]

Music and composition[]

She told The Guardian that the song is "about making love to someone from the other side."[2] 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."[3]

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.[4]

"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."[1]

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."

Lyrics[]

Some say my lover is a pale green light
He hovers high where the moon shines bright
I feel him come to me in the dead of night
And I go to the other side
And when he lovingly takes my hand
Pulls me close to a windswept land
I can't make anybody else understand
How I go to the other side

You know that I'll love you till the stars don't shine
You know that you'll always fill this heart of mine
And I could never forget with time
All our close encounters
All our close encounters

And on the other side, he's all around
He is a starry beam that lays me down
And we become a dream of time and sound
When I go to the other side

You know that I'll love you till the stars don't shine
You know that you'll always fill this heart of mine
And I could never forget with time
All our close encounters
All our close encounters
All our close encounters

Official versions[]

  • Album version — 04:09
  • Livestream at Home. Los Angeles, 2021 (album) — 03:58

Credits[]

Personnel

  • Natasha Khan — songwriting, production, vocals, synths and string arrangement,
  • David Baron — programming, synths, string arrangement
  • Sandy Bell — backing vocals
  • Rachael Yamagata — backing vocals
Technical
  • Recorded At The Retreat Brighton & Ohayo Mountain, Woodstock, NYC

References[]