102069Parlophone – July 1st

A decade on from Fur And Gold, Natasha Khan returns with a near-flawless set examining intimacy and societal expectation via the concept of a doomed wedding. Khan is cast as the titular bride-to-be – widowed on the eve of the ceremony – and embodies the role with grace and empathy as she journeys from fear and anger, to acceptance and hope. Her sombre subject-matter is mirrored in comparatively subdued arrangements throughout, but within these there’s real variety. ‘Honeymooning Alone’ utilises sonorous guitar and clipped drum-rolls to evoke a Southern gothic-feel redolent of Timber Timbre, while ‘Strange Encounters’ conjures Angelo Badalamenti-esque atmospherics to stirring effect. Best of all is ‘I Will Love Again’, a gorgeous, slow-burning statement of defiance which only confirms Khan’s status as one of the UK’s finest singer-songwriters.

Buy: Bat For Lashes – The Bride

Live: End Of The Road – September 2nd-4th