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Goldfrapp Channel David Lynch on New Album ‘Tales of Us’

goldfrapp, tales of us

Alison Goldfrapp isn’t a fan of her last record with partner Will Gregory. Last year, the English singer told Idolator of 2010’s Head First: “I’m not very proud of that one. I think there are some good tunes on there. I feel like we should have given them to someone else instead of us releasing them as Goldfrapp.”

Hopefully she’ll be more fond of Goldfrapp’s next album, Tales of Us. The electro duo have confirmed that their sixth full-length will be released in the U.K. on September 9 and in the U.S. on September 10. According to a statement on the band’s website, the upcoming LP has “taken a turn for the noir.”

“The aural lineage of the record is the dreamy, acoustic, David Lynch-like flavor of Goldfrapp’s opening set, [2000’s] Felt Mountain,” the post reads, “and their defining mid-period masterwork, [2008’s] Seventh Tree.” The above trailer for the album makes good on that promise of Lynchian allure. Directed by Lisa Gunning, the black-and-white clip features snippets of different tunes from Tales of Us, set to mysterious visuals: A car traveling down an otherwise empty road, gloved hands writing down song titles, and a figure running through foggy woods. The video is reportedly the first in a series of short films that will accompany the 10-track effort (via Pitchfork).

Tales of Us will also be packaged as a deluxe box set that comes with a CD of bonus material, a vinyl pressing of the record, a DVD containing the entire album, a 24-inch poster, a 12-inch lithographic art print, and a 40-page hardcover book. The first 500 copies will also be signed by Goldfrapp. Pre-orders for the expanded edition, which is slated to ship in mid-November, can be placed here.

Read the full message from Goldfrapp’s website, followed by the track list to Tales of Us, below.

Soon after touring their last album, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory reconvened at their Bristol studio, hungry to get to work on album six of their discography. Earlier than they thought, Goldfrapp were ready to conjoin minds and make music again. Alison has found, after considerable professional and personal research into the matter, that when she is at her happiest she can allow herself to go deep into a world of fantasy. “When you’re relaxed and confident you can excavate places you may not have dared go before”, she says. It is with some inevitability, then, not just that Tales of Us, her new full studio album with musical confidante and co-creator Will Gregory, has taken a turn for the noir but that Alison herself is on such fiery good form. 

The aural lineage of the record is the dreamy, acoustic, David Lynch-like flavour of Goldfrapp’s opening set, Felt Mountain, and their defining mid-period masterwork, Seventh Tree. Like Beck and Nick Cave before them, there has always been an almost schizophrenic split in the sound palette of Goldfrapp: on the one hand the compulsive rhythms that stomped through hits ‘Strict Machine’ and ‘Ooh La La’, indebted to a fetishistic mid-European disco thud and the dress-up fantasia of glam-rock. Tales of Us is part of the flip side of that coin. “I’m drawn more and more to the intimacy and simplicity of the voice & guitar.” 

Nothing in their back catalogue has hinted at the new lyrical breadth Alison has introduced to Tales of Us. All the songs bar one, the haunting ‘Stranger’, are named in the first person. The cast list of sensuous character sketches, the contrary love affairs, the suspense, hallucinations, fairy tales and modern folklores documented and the traces of redemption they find in song take the poetry of Goldfrapp’s delicately considered pop music somewhere new. “I am interested in horror, psychologically. Not blood and guts. That’s too literal. I like the horror of the mind.” 

There is a reason Goldfrapp have used the inclusive pronoun in the title. The album is not really third person at all. It is all about her and Will’s emotional response to some uniquely affecting tales; perhaps even of the quiet storm approaching in all of us.

Tales of Us track list: 

1. “Jo”
2. “Annabel”
3. “Drew”
4. “Ulla”
5. “Alvar”
6. “Thea”
7. “Simone”
8. “Stranger”
9. “Laurel”
10. “Clay”