Goldfrapp: 10 Essential Tracks From the Masters of Ethereal Pop

Goldfrapp: 10 Essential Tracks From the Masters of Ethereal Pop

Be first to like this.

The icy sang-froid at the heart of Goldfrapp’s electro-oeuvre belies the pagan heart of eroticism that’s served them well since their atmospheric 2000 debut, Felt Mountain. Today marks the release of their seventh record, Silver Eye, and it’s a strong one — a summation and meld of both their ambient and dance-y sides. On its occasion, we salute Allison Goldfrapp and multi-instrumentalist Will Gregory by looking at the group’s top 10 tracks in order of release date.

1. “Lovely Head”

From the 2000 album Felt Mountain

The first track of Goldfrapp’s debut sets the tone of surreptitious darkness to follow. Surreal, evocative, unnerving: this was Twin Peaks-meets-folktronica, and it set the blueprint for many others to follow, including Lana Del Rey and other 21st century chanteuses.

2. “Black Cherry”

From the 2003 album Black Cherry

The title track of the group’s follow-up is a sensuous ode to … I’m not sure, but it certainly seems clitoral to me. To which I say: dive right in, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t be scared.

3. “Strict Machine”

From the 2003 album Black Cherry

Wherein Allison Goldfrapp bends her crystalline instrument to the will of a highly sexed dominatrix and/or an A.I. sex toy, both of whom keep her multi-orgasmic and wildly satisfied.

4. “Ooh La La”

From the 2005 album Supernature

Glam-electro may not have been born here, but it blossomed on the first single from Goldfrapp’s commercial breakthrough. Bonus: Allison Goldfrapp becomes the first viable English disco vixen since the early ’90s.

5. “Ride a White Horse”

From the 2005 album Supernature

Will Gregory’s Teutonic rhythms won’t exactly take you to funkytown, but the insistent pounding gets the job done on this futuristic slice of porn.

6. “A&E”

From the 2008 album Seventh Tree

A change in sound — from the dank club to the pastoral — may have confused fans at first, but Goldfrapp’s fourth album hit an artistic peak. Nine years on from its release, this track still haunts me every time I hear it. It’s a beautifully sung, emotional plea to an ex-lover, but don’t let its pristine surface fool you. There’s a trail of blood from the dance floor to the emergency room impossible to miss.

7. “Cologne Cerrone Houdini”

From the 2008 album Seventh Tree

Gregory pays tribute to the Krautrock and Eurotrash (and magic) that’s inspired them from the start on this mid-tempo stunner that features one of Allison Goldfrapp’s most controlled and pure vocals.

8. “Rocket”

From the 2010 album Head First

After the high point of Seventh Tree, its follow-up Head First felt like a retrenchment. And I will admit: this is my least treasured of their records. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some great stuff on it, as evidenced by this club favorite. And in retrospect — after the swirl of rumors about Ms. Goldfrapp’s sexuality — I love the phallic double-entendre at its heart, especially when I imagine, in my sophomoric brain, that the title item just might be a strap-on.

9. “Annabel”

From the 2013 album Tales of Us

Accompanied by an ambitious series of related videos, Tales of Us was yet another change in sound for the band from the shiny Europop of Head First to the melancholy introspection of this name-inspired song-cycle. This ballad tells the tale of an intersex child raised as a boy; not the stuff of your usual bubble-headed pop.

10. “Anymore”

From the 2017 album Silver Eye

Yet more musical whiplash, as Will and Allison head back towards the club with this first single from their latest, though the attendant album shows a breadth of reach that incorporates all their influences to date. And the video is a Sapphic celebration that’s both a tonic and a slap in the face to our current administration.

Goldfrapp’s Silver Eye is out today.

Related Stories

Farewell Ellen! Here Are 5 LGBTQ Celebrities We'd Love to See Take Over Daytime TV
As a Young Man, Bram Stoker Wrote a 'Love Letter' to His Queer Literary Idol, Walt Whitman
The 4 Non Blondes' 1992 Hit 'What's Up?' Has Since Become a Queer Anthem
These 29 Fictional Characters Encourage Us All to Embrace Our Femme Selves