The last Bats' release on Flying Nun Records was 2000's Thousands of Luminous Spheres compilation, and a lot has happened since then.
Given their long association, it's fitting they've been reunited for Free All the Monsters, which coincides nicely with the label's 30th anniversary.
And better, it's The Bats' strongest effort in years.
Although recorded in what's left of the notorious Seacliff Asylum on the coast north of Dunedin, the band's eighth album is permeated with the warmth of human relationships and experiences.
That's long been the case of Robert Scott's songs, but his writing has become even more nuanced and well realised in recent years.
It's surely no coincidence that Dale Cotton, who produced Scott's 2010 solo album Ends Run Together, also worked on Free All The Monsters. In Cotton, The Bats have found a producer with a sympathetic ear for the gentle melodies and simple but sweet arrangements they've long excelled in.
From radiant opener Long Halls onwards it's immediately obvious this is a classic album from the band.
Other highlights include the title track, the melancholic See Right Through Me, In the Subway, which is redolent of past Bats' glories, and the utterly perfect Fingers of Dawn.