Album cover artwork for ALdous Harding with black vinyl record popping outNew Zealand musician Aldous Harding has always been difficult to pin down, a quality that feels intentional considering her avant-garde instrumentation, abstract lyrics and surreal visuals.

Harding’s distinctive voice – her most notable instrument, as a multi-instrumentalist – is a chameleon on fourth record Warm Chris. It’s occasionally childlike in pitch, while at other times takes on a deep tenor which blends seamlessly with the sound of a saxophone. Her voice also possesses a grit it hasn’t had before – piano-march Fever in particular offers this new side.

For the most part, Harding keeps listeners at a distance, though threads of commentary about relationships and identity filter through in a manner that’s beguiling, and arresting.

Warm Chris by Aldous Harding is out March 25 via 4AD.

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