Christchurch's goth-folk superstar Aldous Harding has come barrelling back into public view with a peachy new single, a typically idiosyncratic music video and news about her much-anticipated third album.

New single The Barrel is a jaunty slice of folk-pop, that shuffles along on a spritely bass groove and is decorated with ominous strings, a melancholic piano refrain and Harding's childlike backing vocals. It is, obviously, terrific.

The song will be familiar to people who saw her gigs at last year's Auckland Arts Fest or the Womad Festival. Those shows were only weeks apart and were, unexpectedly, her last public performances. Harding was due to embark on a tour of America and Europe after Womad but abruptly cancelled the tour to, reportedly, concentrate on her new album.

That album's title has now been revealed as Designer and sees her reuniting with Party's producer John Parish. The album will be out on April 26. To mark the occasion, Flying Nun will release a limited edition blue/black colour vinyl for New Zealand fans who pre-order.


The nine-track album also features the harrowing Heaven is Empty, a song worlds away from The Barrel's easy vibes and one that still haunts all those who survived Harding performing it at the aforementioned shows. #shudder.