Monthly Archives: October 2014

Top 10 – Goldfrapp

Because I had my music on shuffle on Friday and kept skipping songs to hear Goldfrapp instead of just bringing up Goldfrapp specifically, here are my top 10 favorite Goldfrapp songs! (In no particular order, as per usual…)

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1) Lovely Head

Ahh, “Lovely Head.” The very first Goldfrapp song I ever heard. It had me hypnotized and hooked from that very first haunting whistle. My junior year college roommate had Felt Mountain and played it occasionally. This is the first track on that album. I’ll never forget the chills it gave me when I was walking down the hallway toward our room (she had the door propped open) and I heard that whistle floating down the hallway. This song still makes me swoon when I hear it.

2) Strict Machine

Oh, geez, I really love this one so much. So sexy. Too sexy. Just, UGH. ARGH. Another one that makes me swoon. It really swallows me up and I just love blasting it when I’m in my car alone. It’s a very sex-positive BDSM-themed song. It makes me feel really confident, and likewise I am usually feeling very confident when I play it.

3) Ride A White Horse

Hahahaha, I have written about this song too many times, I think! Specifically, about the music video. Hmm, so what can I say about it that’s new? I guess I really like that the song is so confident and straightforward, both in the lyrics and in the sound. Allison just sounds so unfaltering and fierce in her delivery, even with her husky voice. It’s another one that, in turn, makes ME feel more confident.

4) Twist

Oh my gosh, this is kind of embarrassing because this song is about oral sex BUT I’M STILL ADMITTING THAT I LOVE IT. It’s another song that swallows me up and makes me swoon. (Goldfrapp has that affect on me in general.) There’s something innocent about it in its frankness though. She’s not ashamed to ask for it and describe just how she wants it to happen, and she doesn’t hold back. It’s so honest and that’s, well, sexy.

5) Drew

Oh, this song. Ohhhh, this song. This was the first single they released from their latest album and it made me so excited because it’s SO good. It’s honest in its sound. I don’t know if that makes sense. It just feels naturally…Goldfrapp. Haunting and beautiful and romantic and cinematic and intimate and tender. This song will forever be one of Goldfrapp’s greatest, to my ears.

6) Clowns

Ah, yes. The song Allison will bluntly state as being about breasts. Haha, well it is! But it’s about a lot more than that too. It’s really hard to make out what she’s singing about in the song because she sings in such a high pitch. Basically, the song is about her coming to terms with entering her 40’s and observing women on TV with breast implants and plastic surgery and asking herself if she really wants to be like them. I just adore how angelic she sounds.

7) Ooh La La

Another sexy song! So many of them! And, again, very bold and confident, as well as honest and straightforward about desire. No one needs to ask what “Ooh la la” is in this song or what it means. I like blasting this one too! All the layers of noise and vocals are fantastic. It comes together seamlessly and comes at you relentlessly. And it goes out with a bang. Perfect intro track for this album!

8) Winter Wonderland

I’ve written about this before! Yes, it’s a Christmas song, but sometimes I’ll listen to it outside of the month of December. Goldfrapp just performs it so wonderfully! It’s so characteristically in their style, it just feels like the kind of song you could listen to any time of the year.

9) Human

This song is so full of drama and flair, it feels like it ought to be in the scene of a noir film where a woman walks into the office of a detective and you hear the detective say as the narrator “I just knew she was trouble the moment she walked through the door.” It sounds like a song you would do the tango to. So intimate and hot and heavy. It’s absolutely seductive and otherworldly.

10) Utopia

This song sounds like it came out of a dream…Or it’s a song you would hear when you’re dreaming. It’s very sci-fi and ethereal. This comes not just from the lyrics but also from the weird electronic noises blending with the orchestral and, at times, operatic sounds. It plays with the idea of what an utopia really is and what it means. It’s also pretty heavily about obsession, and all that comes together very well in this song.

Well! It was harder to pick just 10 songs than I thought it would be! Here are some honorable mentions:

-Thea

-Cologne Cerrone Houdini

-Yellow Halo

-Lovely 2 C U

-Little Death

It was pretty tough leaving those off! Eagle-eyed Goldfrapp fans may notice I did not include any songs from Head First. Well…That may be a post for another day. I have complicated feelings about that album, but it should be clear that it is my least favorite. 😦 I’ll just set that aside for now though and revel in my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE Goldfrapp songs!

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Bring Us Together

For a little while after my last post, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I’d been listening to David Bowie’s Hunky Dory for awhile, and then I started listening to the rest of my Bowie collection, and I was worried I was going to have to write about David Bowie. I say worry because David Bowie is a musical god to me and I’m afraid anything I write couldn’t do justice to how much I appreciate his music.

And then I realized that the latest Asteroids Galaxy Tour album was out (and had been for about a month) and I downloaded that and have been listening to it pretty much nonstop! Whew!

So where do I begin? Okay. So, you know how The Beatles did a bunch of pot and then put out Rubber Soul and everyone was like WOOOAH! These guys were making good music before but now they are making ART!!! That is how I feel about AGT’s new album Bring Us Together. It shows such an amazing progression from their previous two albums (which were awesome in their own right) while not losing that certain-something that makes them so distinct. Also, maybe drugs were involved? Well, it kind of falls into the psychedelic category in any case. We’ll get to that later.

I would describe AGT’s first two albums as being out-of-control. I remember first listening to them and feeling like I was going to lose my mind because their music was bursting at the seams and bubbling over with gusto. They were in love with their own sound and it was not in a bad way, because they wanted so badly to share it so that others could love it as much as they did, and it was all just so enthusiastic you could help getting caught up in it.

With Bring Us Together, I feel like they’ve calmed themselves down quite a bit while still carrying their heads high. They’ve lost none of their pride – they’ve just honed it into a more precise sound. I no longer feel like I’m going to start screaming when their music comes on. (Screaming with joy, that is.) But I still feel it, whatever it is, and it makes me want to dance.

I don’t even know where to start with my favorite tracks. The whole album is just fantastic. There isn’t a dull track to be found. Right off the bat, I’d say my instant favorites are the title track “Bring Us Together” (which I wrote about previously) and “My Club,” the music video for which reminds me quite a lot of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” conceptually.

Musically, it reminds me a lot of “Major,” a track from their previous album Out of Frequency. I think it must be the horns, even though horns featured predominantly on a lot of their previous albums! Something else then. I don’t know, but I love the melody, the attitude, and the lyrics. It’s the best dance song on the album.

I also love “Navigator” which has some nu-disco influences and a catchy whistle tune. If this were the 70’s, one might describe the song as “groovy,” but it’s 2014, so let’s not and say we did. When you hear that bassline, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

“Choke It” is easily another one of my favorite tracks. It also seems to be unapologetically about drugs. Maybe? It gets pretty trippy at the end when Mette Lindburg starts singing about sugar trees and killer bees. They’re probably just having some fun and messing with the listener, but it still raises an eyebrow. It reminds me of the Robert Crumb drawing translated into music.

“Hurricane” is a fantastic track. I think this is where Mette Lindburg’s vocals shine the brightest. Her voice here shows the greatest amount of maturity. It’s so controlled. Don’t get me wrong, I loved how wild it was on the previous albums. But here, it’s like she’s crooning, and it’s just lovely.

I also love, love, LOVE “Zombies!” It reminds me a lot of “Suburban Space Invader.” I want to see a music video for this one. It would be a zombie dance party! That’s pretty much what’s going on in the song, by the way. I can already picture the homage to “Thriller.” I mean, come on, if you’re going to have zombies in your music video, you MUST have an homage to “Thriller.” “Clint Eastwood,” anyone? “Zombies” is just so much fun though!

If you’ve listened to AGT before, but haven’t had a chance to get to this album – what are you waiting for?! Get to it! This album is fantastic! I love it when you can hear an artist evolving to the next level. Bring Us Together just shows such great progression. They really did something new without losing their spirit or unique sound. It’s still very much AGT, but grown up. So, so good.

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thin and chasing kites

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for iamamiwhoami! It’s less than a month till the new album BLUE comes out, and I was wondering how they were going to release the rest of their videos by then. Question answered: They released the next 2 tracks together! My guess is they’ll release 2 more the week before the album drops and then the last one maybe the day before or day of.

A few days later, we got an interview in Dazed & Confused magazine! What a treat! I feel like’s it’s been a good while since we’ve had a decent interview. In this one, she gives a lot of love (and credit) to her fans for helping her make this album happen. This, I think, is the future of music. I’ve seen it happening more and more lately. Oh Land, another Scandinavian singer (Danish, specifically!) is making her album through a pledge page too. It’s very exciting to feel so close to an artist. They really are making the music for you. I want to see more mainstream artists doing this!

Anyway, let’s get on to the videos/singles! First up is “thin.”

Gosh, I love this one. It reminds me a lot of “fountain,” which I also really like, in that this one sounds a lot like it belongs in an 80’s fantasy movie. I just LOVE the change of pace in the song just past halfway through. It just swallows you up. It’s like being held down by an anchor in the middle of a waterspout. It’s frightening and beautiful at the same time.

I think Jonna Lee’s relationship with her fans has gotten a little complicated here. If that is who the shadowy black figures represent. I saw someone else suggest that maybe they represented her past? I’m not 100% sure about that. I can relate to the figures a little if they’re fans though. They’re getting messages in bottles from her, but the put their hands on their hips and scratch their heads in confusion at their meanings. Yes, yes, that I can relate to, haha. I suppose they figure they’re not going to get any meaning from the words because the end up burning or tossing away the papers. As I’ve said about iam before, I think their music is meant to be interpreted by everyone differently. It means something special for every individual, and no one is right and no one is wrong. That’s why they burn the papers but keep the bottles. The images of the shadowy figures holding up the empty bottles against the dusky sky gives me the shivers a little.

Next up is “chasing kites.”

We open to shots of a typewriter, dozens of sheets of paper (with what looks like her lyrics printed on them), and glass bottles. So that’s where they’ve been coming from! Jonna inhabits a lighthouse on a small island, all by herself. The shadowy figures are nowhere to be seen (except in a few fleeting flashbacks to other videos). She starts by singing “It’s a thin, thin line and I walk both sides of it.” What a great transition from the previous song! I can’t wait to hear the album as a whole. If anything, this is where she addresses her past. It feels like it’s representing her leaving her home (past) and casting her sails to the wind (future), even though she’s torn between the desire to stay and the decision to leave. This whole album, I think, is representing her journey from being this vague and mysterious project to a full-fledged “band” that’s captured the attention of, well, maybe not the world, but certainly a lot of people. She’s torn between enjoying the shroud of secrecy and wanting to share her work with everyone. (Refer back to the interview where she indicates her trepidation at becoming a “mainstream” artist while later stating that she doesn’t want to keep her artistry all to herself “in the closet.”)

It’s a really fascinating new look into iamamiwhoami’s psyche, especially Jonna’s. I’m certain she must be an introvert, because I’m familiar with that feeling of wanting to be alone, but not lonely. It’s this sort of Jekyll and Hyde tug of war in your head sometimes. Wow, this song really hits me when I think about it.

I’m so excited for this album! And they’ve finally announced the release of a physical album! I’ve already bought the digital version, but I just HAVE to have this CD, even if it doesn’t come with a DVD. Less than a month away now. Soon, soon, soon!

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