Head they lose Tales they win

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

IF you were un­der­whelmed by the last Gold­frapp al­bum, you’re in good com­pany. The UK band’s singer, Ali­son Gold­frapp (pic­tured), says 2010’s Head First was the first – and last – time they will let a record com­pany tell them what to do. The al­bum was made as the duo’s then par­ent record label, EMI, was in ma­jor fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Gold­frapp’s pre­vi­ous al­bum, Sev­enth Tree, had sold more than 200,000 copies in 2008 and EMI needed an­other hit. Their 2005 al­bum, Su­per­na­ture, had sold half a mil­lion copies, and the band was pres­sured to re­turn to that al­bum’s com­mer­cial elec­tro-pop sound. ‘‘It was too far (pop), too on the nose, we were rushed to do it, we had to fill EMI cri­te­ria,’’ Gold­frapp says of Head First, which went on to sell just 70,000 copies in the UK. ‘‘It was a very chal­leng­ing time, it was that last leg of EMI, it af­fected ev­ery­body in that pe­riod. They weren’t great times.’’ The band orig­i­nally signed to Mute, home to Depeche Mode and Nick Cave and known for be­ing hands-off with artists; how­ever the EMI prob­lems be­gan to fil­ter down. ‘‘For­tu­nately we were at the end of our con­tract. We had cer­tain things we had to ful­fil. We did and now we’re gone. That’s the past now. This is a new era, which feels good and right.’’ Af­ter join­ing Depeche Mode and Cave in leav­ing Mute, Gold­frapp have re-signed to the label now it’s be­come in­de­pen­dent again. They also have new man­age­ment. Gold­frapp’s sixth stu­dio al­bum, Tales Of Us, leaves Head First’s elec­tro disco sound be­hind for a re­turn to the lush cin­e­matic feel of their de­but Felt Moun­tain and Sev­enth Tree. ‘‘I was very fo­cused about what it was I wanted to do,’’ Gold­frapp says. ‘‘I wanted to get back to all the things I love and are dear to me and make me feel good and feel real. With Head First, the al­bum it­self and ev­ery­thing that hap­pened around it felt strange and wrong. So I was ea­ger to look back at the things that in­spired Felt Moun­tain and Sev­enth Tree, those kinds of ideas and feel­ings. I was read­ing a lot and im­mers­ing my­self in other worlds. I was go­ing to the cin­ema a lot. That’s been a big in­spi­ra­tion for this al­bum.’’ There’ll be short films made for five of the al­bum’s tracks (Gold­frapp will ap­pear in two) and the band will film its first live pre­miere of Tales Of Us in Manch­ester this month, joined by an orches­tra. Gold­frapp wrote the lyrics based on real and imag­i­nary char­ac­ters – their names pro­vid­ing each song’s ti­tles. ‘‘I re­ally en­joyed get­ting into th­ese char­ac­ters . . . it’s al­most like you go into some kind of sub­con­scious state,’’ he says. ‘‘Some­times it feels like things hap­pen with­out you re­ally be­ing in con­trol of them. It’s a magic that hap­pens, you’re on this hin­ter­land where you’re in con­trol but not in con­trol, That’s a per­fect place to be when you’re cre­at­ing be­cause things come out of you that maybe you didn’t ex­pect.’’


Tales of Us (Mute) is re­leased on Septem­ber 6. Gold­frapp play Har­vest Fes­ti­val, at the Bris­bane Botanic Gar­dens, on Novem­ber 17. Tick­ets go on sale on July 12. Visit har­vest­fes­ti­val.com.au

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