This is a track from The Bride, a concept album that follows the story of a woman whose fiancé dies in a car crash on the way to their wedding. During this eerie song, the ghost of her later lover appears as a pale green light in the forest. Natasha "Bat For Lashes" Khan introduced the tune at one of her shows by saying it is about "making love to someone from the other side". "I'm not imagining them at the top of a pine tree, shagging away!" she clarified to NME. "I'm just seeing the emotional desire to reach out and communicate with someone who's gone."
During a conversation with MTV News, the interviewer raised the subject of the afterlife. "I definitely believe in spirit realms and unseen things, because I work in music, which you can't see," Khan said. "Music is vibrational waves that move through the air and they hit your ear and move you emotionally - to me, that's magic. I think the idea of the ghost, especially in Victorian times, has been constructed for humans to be able to deal with loss in a more tangible way … imagining a person as a ghost keeps the experience from feeling so lonely and detached."
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."