BY LISA MISCHIANTI. PHOTOGRAPHED BY BELLA HOWARD
The sound of London-based electronic duo Goldfrapp has shifted between ethereal, ambient indie-electronica and danceable, glamorous electro-pop throughout the band’s discography. Now they’re set to release their sixth record, Tales of Us, this September, complete with five short films to accompany it. “Tales of Us is a lot more sparse than some previous albums, more acoustic,” explains vocalist Alison Goldfrapp. “It’s of the same DNA as Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree.” Here, the singer shares a playlist of her perennial favorites. “These tracks are little, timeless gems,” she says, “my all-time classics.”
“OUI JE TE DIS ADIEU” BY FRANÇOISE HARDY
I don’t understand a lot of what she’s saying, but I like the pastel romance of Hardy’s music—her soft voice and lush, orchestrated pieces.
“IS THAT ALL THERE IS?” BY PEGGY LEE
I listened to Peggy when I was a kid, and this track had a huge impact on me. It’s haunting—she has a voice that cuts through you.
“SUMMER WINE” BY NANCY SINATRA AND LEE HAZLEWOOD
I love the slightly hallucinogenic feel of this song and the combination of her pretty, sweet voice and his dark, somber voice. It sounds a bit rickety.
“RIVER MAN” BY NICK DRAKE
It immediately transports me to the English countryside on a balmy summer evening. It’s beautiful, but also very melancholic.
“CES GENS-LÀ” BY JACQUES BREL
This song actually had a huge influence on “Jo,” the first track on the new album. The hypnotic rhythm is almost like a mantra, so dramatic but so simple.
“THE STRANGER SONG” BY LEONARD COHEN
This is the theme song for a Robert Altman movie called McCabe & Mrs. Miller, with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. It’s a beautiful film and I love the lyrics.
“BONNIE AND CLYDE” BY SERGE GAINSBOURG
I love the feel of this song—it’s sexy and kind of cranky…if you can have sexy and cranky together.
“MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS” BY STEVE REICH
I discovered this a couple of years ago when somebody sent it to me while I was on tour, and I just think it’s the most incredible thing. It’s all acoustic and sounds so timeless.
“FIVE STRING SERENADE” BY MAZZY STAR
Mazzy Star’s dreamy, floaty, distant voice sounds kind of half-asleep. It transports me to places I’ve never been, long dusty roads and ramshackle huts in the middle of nowhere.
“HOLOCENE” BY BON IVER
This is such a beautiful, rippling, rambling song. I haven’t a clue what he’s singing about, but maybe that’s a good thing. It’s the opposite of a lot of these other tunes, very clean and pure, like icy water.