Beginner’s guide to Goldfrapp

What do you get if you cross an experimental art student with a reclusive multi-instrumentalist? Well, an Alpine spectacular, followed by innovative electro, then pastoral folk-pop, retro revival, and symphonic splendour. That’s what. Goldfrapp‘s albums still go unnoticed by the masses, but every one is full of delights and surprises.

Key moments

If you don’t know what crotch theremin playing looks like, then get ready to find out. They channeled the Alps on Felt Mountain (2000), invented Rachel Stevens‘s career with Strict Machine (2003), and reimagined the eighties with Head First (2010).

Where to start

Start with 2003’s seminal Black Cherry. Their second album, it blends elements of the first with sounds which would be explored further on the next release.

What to buy

After Black Cherry roll back to the marvellous debut album Felt Mountain (2000) and then the third album Supernature (2005) – ideally the US version including exceptional bonus track Beautiful. Top it off with Tales of Us (2013).

Don’t bother with

The 2006 US-only remix album We Are Glitter should be considered by completists only. The 2012 compilation The Singles is something of a failure, for reasons which I outlined in my review below.

Hidden treasure

Their covers of UK Girls (Physical) – on the special edition of Felt Mountain (2001) – and Boys Will Be Boys – from the Satin Boys, Flaming Chic 7″ single (2006). The live-only track Sartorious – available on the b-side of the 2004 reissue of Strict Machine is also a delight to hear.

For stowaways

4 thoughts on “Beginner’s guide to Goldfrapp

  1. Pingback: Beginner’s guide to making a bit of a mess of things | Music for stowaways

  2. Black Cherry & Supernature are both good starting points. Quality duo that made excellent music.

  3. Pingback: The complete beginner’s guide | Music for stowaways

  4. Pingback: Begin again – revisiting the beginner’s guides | Music for stowaways

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