I wish I had time to do justice in words to the magnificence of Goldfrapp’s new album Tales of Us, a collection of film-noir-ish songs that the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘mesmerising’ were made for. I’ve snatched a few lyrics above and here’s the trailer of the short films by Lisa Gunning that are attached to the project. The whole concept is beautifully realised – the songs are as consistent and as full with melodic hooks and strings as anything by a great soundtrack master of the 60s and 70s, yet utterly contemporary, and magnified by the book and cinema references which inspire each track.
“We’ve always had these two worlds that exist alongside each other,” Alison Goldfrapp has said. “The sort of more pastoral, orchestral sound and then this much harder, synthetic sound. I love both, but I’d say I think this more acoustic, simple sound is where my heart is at. All the artists that I really love and listen to all the time and always go back to are of that ilk. That’s what I feel really passionate about… I love this, and I feel somehow that I can explore this world more. And I feel very comfortable with that.”
Goldfrapp released their debut Felt Mountain in 2001 and their influence, visually and musically, filtered through the years. It’s no surprise that The Lowry in Manchester is running their first ‘performer as curator’ exhibition from October featuring works chosen by Alison Goldfrapp. The poster features the beautiful artwork from 2000’s Lovely Head single, when Goldfrapp were using the ‘wild’ imagery that has become so ubiquitous over the last decade.
Tales of Us is also released as gatefold vinyl which includes a CD version.