“The reason I chose churches is because the buildings innately give this sense of sacredness, the quiet,” she says of the unconventional venues selected for her tour in support of The Bride. “The Bride wanted people to feel a bit like that.” Khan refers to the title character of her new album in the third person, as if she’s apart from her, or, a part of her. “She’s the muse for this album. If a muse is like a lover, then I think about them while drawing or writing. The muse comes through, telling me how she’s feeling, what she’s fearing, what she wants to wear.” Khan merely “translates—in my heart, out through me.”
Khan, 36, has never been married. She’s neither single nor coupled, and is trying to figure out “what love is,” as she puts it. The Bride is an inquiry into that question. The album’s narrative follows a young woman abandoned at the altar, but it wasn’t cold feet that left her alone—her fiancé died on the way to the ceremony. She takes their honeymoon alone following a map he made. Khan imagined the album as the soundtrack to a feature film she hopes to one day direct. Recently, she’s been dabbling in that art form, conceiving the music video for The Bride’s first single, “In God’s House,” and directing a 15-minute short for MTV, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival alongside five other shorts—each one exploring modern love—under the title Madly. Khan’s short is called I Do, like the first song on her new album. The film is set near where Khan grew up, in Hertfordshire, England, a town of “old country lanes, pine tree forests, big fields, and foggy roads,” she says. There, a bride, wearing the same blue eye shadow as Khan is now, witnesses violence on her way to her wedding, which triggers remembrance and, maybe, premonition. The film is bloody and saturnine, unlike the song, where Khan sings, over plucked harp strings, “super-naive, ultra-romantic, and totally open-hearted declarations that everything is going to be perfect now that I’ve found this man,” she says.