Clowns - Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree (2008, Mute)
Talking of Goldfrapp’s Seventh Tree, the opening track Clowns is quite possibly my favourite track they’ve ever done. Not that it’s really comparable to a lot of their other stuff, they really went off on a (very interesting) stylistic tangent with the album, but it is an absolutely delectable track.
This was my favourite Goldfrapp. And her hat, don’t forget her pirate hat.
Lovely Head - Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain (2000, Mute)
I fool myself to sleep and dream
Nobody’s here, no-one but me
So cool, you’re hardly there
Why can’t this be killing you?
After signing a contract with Mute Records in 1999, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory spent six months in a rented bungalow in the Wiltshire countryside working together. Alison found the process very difficult, as she was not being used to composing with others, and was often alone and disturbed by the mice and insects in the bungalow. She ended up pouring this experience into music, and the result is this album, Felt Mountain. It draws a lot from the british trip-hop scene, which was just starting to wind down at the time this album was made, but adds 1960’s pop and folk elements, and is also heavily influenced by the soundscapes in movies such as Dr No, Goldfinger and Polanski’s Cul-de-sac.
I saw: Skipping Girl Vinegar, Dan Sultan, Washington, Foals, Miami Horror, The Only, Hot Chip, Bag Raiders, LCD Soundsystem
Gypsy & The Cat, Jonathon Boulet, Yacht Club DJs, Miami Horror DJs, Two Door Cinema Club, Delphic, Bluejuice, Tame Impala, Wolfmother, Florence & The Machine, Midnight Juggernauts
Boy & Bear, Cloud Control, Surfer Blood, We Are Scientists, The Vines, Jónsi, Anna Lunoe, Goldfrapp.
The best was: Florence & The Machine.
Standouts were: Washington, Foals, Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, Yacht Club DJs, Delphic, Tame Impala, The Vines, Jónsi, Goldfrapp.
I wish I had of seen: Grizzly Bear, Flight Facilities, Operator Please, Angus & Julia Stone, Washington vs Yves Klein Blue DJ Set
I’m glad I’ll never again have to listen to: the drunk joker from The Only scream “fuck”, or a variation of.
I was pleasantly surprised by: Jónsi, how many people were massive Foals fans, the fact The Vines didn’t cancel, We Are Scientists’ in-between songs chats, and Wolfmother’s performance (despite the fact their name should be changed to “Andrew Stockdale & Some Other Less Important People”).
Most attractive artists: Jónsi’s bassist, Megan Washington, Florence Welch.
The crowd went craziest for: Foals.
The campest performance: Goldfrapp. But it was such an incredibly fun ending to an incredible weekend. And the skintight mirrored jumpsuits complimented the giant backdrop of the “cosmic doughnut” perfectly.
Bands that exceeded my very high expectations: Tame Impala, LCD Soundsystem.
Bands that more people should have been at, because they went off: Delphic, LCD Soundsystem, Goldfrapp, Sally Allsorts
Coolest food stall: The Psy-bus, behind Tipi Forest.
Worst Beer: Coopers. Oh wait, that was the only beer…
No-one went to see: Richard Ashcroft.
I am of the opinion that the venue change made the festival. Everyone was so much more laid back and friendly than I expected, it was pretty much like Woodford Folk Festival, with rock and dance music. Kudos must go to the organisers to putting on the best music festival I have ever attended, but I really hope they follow everyone’s wishes and keep the festival at Woodfordia. The only bad things about the whole festival were really out of their control, but I hope to god they don’t use MoshTix again. It was one of the best weekends of my life, and I am more than sure many others are of the same opinion.
My Splendour Timetable (subject to change):
Friday: Dan Sultan, Washington, Foals, Miami Horror (or possibly Sally Seltman, I can’t remember if my companion wanted to see her more), Hot Chip, Bag Raiders, LCD Soundsystem (whose recording, Get Innocuous, you can listen to above), Grizzly Bear
Saturday: Jonathan Boulet, Yacht Club DJs, Two Door Cinema Club, Delphic, (at this point I want to see Operator Please, and anything except Bluejuice. But my companion put her foot down, and we’re seeing them D:) Bluejuice, Tame Impala, Van She Tech, Florence + The Machine, Midnight Juggernauts, Flight Facilities
Sunday: Boy & Bear, Cloud Control, Surfer Blood/The Last Dinosaurs, Space Invadas, The Vines, Broken Social Scene, Kate Nash, Goldfrapp, Empire of the Sun.
To say I can’t wait would be a bit of an understatement.
I just paid back the $700 I borrowed from my family for tickets (the friend I also bought a ticket for did pay me back, but I spent that money D:). And the set times just got released! I must say, I’m quite excited for Splendour in the Grass at this point. Almost too excited about some of these artists. Which brings me to the topic of this article:
People I am going to kidnap at Splendour:
1: Megan Washington. Damn it, I had a really good chance the first time I saw her live, at a small intimate gig in an art gallery. Barely no security. Big space, lots of places to hide in to assist in an easy escape. Most probably a big stash of fuming cleaning fluids somewhere I could use to overpower the subject. But alas, I spent the entire concert, along with the rest of the crowd, slowly falling in love with this amazing singer-songwriter. Well, she’s not going to be so lucky this time around.
2: Alison Goldfrapp. Slowly, inexorably, she has been working her way into my head and heart since I first heard Felt Mountain all those years ago. Their sound may have changed, developed, or completely jumped from one style to another through their subsequent albums, but I’ve loved them all the way through. Alison has such an incredible voice. She can sing with such potent emotion it feels your heart is being ripped apart (Felt Mountain), or produce an incredibly sexy, catchy dance gem (Ooh La La). Really anything. And Will Gregory (the other half of the band that is Goldfrapp) looks pretty old, I’m pretty sure I could easily overpower him should he try and protect Alison. Easy.
3. Florence Welch. Does this even need explanation? I know for a fact I’m not the only one who wants to kidnap her. So I’ll have help for this one. Piece of cake.
*Disclamer: I’m not actually going to kidnap these people. Please don’t call the police on me.
I’ve been reading some rather negative press about Goldfrapp following the release of their fifth LP Headfirst. Mediocre reviews, Spanish TV lip-synching scandals, they’ve had their share of bad press this week.
I’m not sure it’s quite fair either. Considering Alison’s undeniably incredible voice, I have no idea why she would be lip-synching. And in relation to the new LP, it’s definitely very different to their last release. But while Seventh Tree had charm and a few incredibly beautiful songs (Clowns and A&E are some of the most moving songs I own), it was pretty much widely regarded as being largely boring, something I’d have to agree with.
Head First is much more reminiscent of their second LP, Black Cherry. Much more upbeat, with the same neon-drenched feel, Head First returns to the synth-pop sound of their second and third albums, this time with a distinctly 80’s edge. At times it reminds me of Moloko, at others of Serge Santiago. But it is really very distinctly Goldfrapp. There may be a couple of duds (I Wanna Life hasn’t made a good impression, and the title track sounds awfully like Abba), but at its best Head First is Goldfrapp on top form, building on their previous work to produce a fun, energetic album. It may be a little too pop at times (I’m not going to lie, I Wanna Life sounds more like something Cyndi Lauper would turn out than I can deal with), but this is balanced by deeper tracks, such as Dreaming, or the Seventh Tree-esque Voicething. And at times the poppier sound hits the nail right on the head, Rocket has to be one of the catchiest tracks the duo have produced.
The song above, Believer, is kind of an all-rounder. It has an definite pop feel, but is is still undeniably Goldfrapp. Different features of the song hark back to all of their previous work. The vocals are at times ethereal, such as something off Felt Mountain or Seventh Tree. The synths have the deep, neon-infused feel of Black Cherry. And the chorus is as catchy as anything you’d find on Supernature. But it still sounds fresh and different, the features all combine to create something greater than the sum of its parts.
However, I would agree with one of the things most of the critics have said about the album. As Kitty Empire from The Observer stated, “Having pre-empted the wave of womanly electro, they now appear to be behind rather than ahead of the curve”. Although this new album is definitely catchy and mostly pretty good, it doesn’t have the same innovative spark that a lot of their previous work did.
But I really like the album art, so that’s okay.
Anyway, this is the one I was talking about. I’ve been a massive Goldfrapp fan for years, but despite moments of sheer beauty their last album was… to put it bluntly boring.
Their new one looks set to go back to everything I loved about their second album, should be excellent.
But I found this Richard X remix of their first single Rocket while poking around a bit, and it really is excellent, and suits the kind of music I play a lot more. Check it out, its an excellent remix