Natasha Khan and the subject of matrimony are well-acquainted companions. On her last outing, we were introduced to an eternally bound haunted man. Since then, we've been treated to a Dan Carey collaboration exploring world femininity and relationships, and a psychedelic cover of an Iranian track by Amir Rassaei called 'Aroos Khanom' (translated to 'The Bride'). This LP of the same name is Bat For Lashes' fourth official release and undoubtedly her most thought-out and decisive so far, combining diverse past experiences in music, film, and art.

The gentle opening strings of 'I Do' serve as a sinister red herring that contemplates the fundamental ideals of marriage - our optimistic narrator mollifying us with lines like "sorrow will drop away like a flower in dew, when you say I do." The striking self-directed photography (in collaboration with Neil Krug) that accompanied the lead up to this release forewarned of situations far more grave. On the following tracks, our protagonist predicts her fiancée's impending demise. 'Joe's Dream' is a theatrical, whimsical sonnet rich with imagery of god's search light and bedroom dwelling angels in a similar vein to 'Glass' and 'Lilies'. It's heartbreakingly hopeless as Khan bares her soul to a fictional soulmate who is dissolving in front of her.

The lead single 'In God's House' is set at the altar as our bride awaits the arrival of a lover destined to death. A production style similar to 'Fur & Gold' and an undeniably askew pace evoke thoughts of Patti Smith and Kate Bush's rejection of pop convention. Eleven minutes in and we hear the car crash that brings an end to our groom while a premature widow takes to the road to 'Honeymoon Alone'. It has a soft choral bridge of Karen Carpenter with the emboldened femininity of Quentin Tarantino's very own Kill: Bill bride; an exceptional piece of art rock.

A cinematic theme runs throughout a narrative partially inspired by Khan's short film aptly titled 'I Do'. It allows Natasha's masterful command of sorrowful songwriting to take centre stage. The opening line of "on a road, forever you will be riding to me" from 'Never Forgive the Angels' will have you uncontrollably ugly-sobbing in the aisles as our wounded bride bids farewell to her dearly beloved. The forlorn mundanity of 'In Your Bed' has an emotional exposure only achieved by an artist fully invested in their music and intent.

'Close Encounters', a potential homage to Kate Bush's 'Watching You Without Me', details Khan's ability to fill four minutes of music with vivid imagery and heavenly vocals, channelling Annie Lennox and Madonna all at once. The comparisons with chamber pop revolutionaries may seem obvious, yet Khan somehow shares a heightened understanding of femininity amongst her coven of Nicks, Bush and Harvey. This album shines sublimely in areas where Natasha combines bedroom intimacy with film noir dramatism ('Land's End', 'If I Knew').

Each of her previous albums has informed this collection as Natasha looks back tentatively over her decade-long discography. The gaudy thunder claps of 'Sunday Love' seem identical to those of 'The Wizard', while its pace is both parts 'Daniel' and 'Rest Your Head'. The visceral femininity of 'Honeymooning Alone' and 'Close Encounters' owe their freedoms to Khan's SEXWITCH collaboration. One could speculate our bride is Pearl of Two Suns or The Haunted Man's 'Laura', however, it is most likely Natasha has imagined a new character altogether adding to her expanding cast.

Khan recently described David Lynch as "a master of capturing the subconscious mind and patch-working together dream states that have this uncanny meaning that you can't quite put your finger on but you sense it in your stomach and your heart." Unbeknownst to Khan, she seems to be consummately describing her own music. The Bride might not be as accessible as its predecessors, yet after time invested it will have you curiously considering ceremony, matrimony, and individuality.