Alison Goldfrapp: Wikis


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Alison Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp performing at the Wireless Festival in June 2006
Background information
Born 13 May 1966 (1966-05-13) (age 43)
Enfield, London
Origin UK
Genres Electropop, Electronica, Synthpop, Ambient, Folktronica
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Years active 1986–present
Labels Mute Records
Associated acts Goldfrapp

Alison Elizabeth Margaret Goldfrapp[1] (born 13 May 1966)[2] is an English singer and songwriter.


Early life

Goldfrapp was born in Enfield, England, the youngest of six children.[3] Her father, Nick, was a former Army officer who worked for the Spastics Society and English Heritage. Her mother, Isabella, was a nurse.[3] While growing up, Goldfrapp's family moved frequently, before settling in Alton, a small town in the county of Hampshire. Alton became the start of Goldfrapp's interest in music, when she sang briefly in local band "Fashionable Living Death," a band formed between her and her anarchist friends.


1999–present: Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp was introduced to composer Will Gregory in 1999 after he had listened to an early version of the song "Human". Gregory felt a connection with Goldfrapp and invited her to record a demo for the film soundtrack he was composing, to see if they could work together.[4] The demo was never completed, but the recording session had been pleasant. Following several months of phone calls, they decided to form a musical band and began performing under Goldfrapp's last name.[4]

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The pair began recording their debut album over a six-month period, beginning in September 1999, in a rented bungalow in the Wiltshire countryside.[5] The recording process was difficult for Alison, who often found herself alone and disturbed by the mice and insects in the bungalow.[5] The band's debut album Felt Mountain was released in 2000 and featured Goldfrapp's synthesized vocals over cinematic soundscapes[6] The lyrics on Felt Mountain were written by Alison and are abstract obsessional tales inspired by films, her childhood, and the loneliness she felt while recording the album.[5]

Goldfrapp released their second album Black Cherry in 2003. The band recorded the album in a darkened studio in Bath, England. The studio's walls were covered in neon lights and Goldfrapp used them to write down her song ideas.[7] The album focused more heavily on dance music and glam rock inspired synths than its predecessor.[8] Black Cherry peaked at number nineteen on the UK albums chart[9] and sold 52,000 copies in the US.[10] Supernature, Goldfrapp's third album, was released in 2005. The album comprises pop and electronic-dance music prominently featured on Black Cherry, but focuses more on subtle hooks instead of the large choruses that made up its predecessor. It has sold one million copies worldwide[11] and received a Grammy nomination.[12] Seventh Tree, Goldfrapp's fourth album, was released in 2008 and debuted at number two on the UK albums chart.[9] The album is a departure from the pop and electronic-dance music featured on Supernature, and features ambient and downtempo music. The band were inspired by an acoustic radio session they had performed, which led the duo to incorporate acoustic guitars into their music to create "warm" and "delicate" sounds.[13]

Lyrics and musical style

Alison Goldfrapp draws inspiration from a range of artists and musical genres. As a teenager she listened to Kate Bush, T.Rex, Donna Summer and Iggy Pop and discovered Serge Gainsbourg while working in Belgium.[14] While traveling through Europe in the early 1990s, she also began listening to Polish disco music and cabaret music from the Weimar Republic.[14] Other media, including film, have had an impact on Goldfrapp who cites Roman Polanski's psychological thriller Cul-de-Sac, the cult film The Wicker Man, and the James Bond franchise as influences.[15][16] She also draws inspiration from surrealism and nature, all of which appear in Goldfrapp's album artwork, which Alison designs in collaboration with Big Active.[5]

Goldfrapp wearing a horse tail while performing in October 2003.

Goldfrapp believes that "music is a visual experience" and therefore visualizes her lyrics before writing them. While writing, Goldfrapp uses her vocals to create melodies and drumbeats.[17] Her songwriting is characterized by its use of animals to describe human emotions and status.[18]

Public image

Goldfrapp is often identified by her unique appearance. She first modified her image in 2003, from a sophisticated Marlene Dietrich inspired look to that of a New Wave diva.[19] The reinvented image included false eyelashes, customized T-shirts, military uniforms and fishnet stockings.[20] While touring in 2004, sections of the group's stage show featured Goldfrapp in a white dress wearing a horse tail and dancers with deer heads, which were inspired by her interest in animals and mythology.[21]

In 2008, Goldfrapp again reinvented her image, this time as a circus performer. The artwork for Goldfrapp's album Seventh Tree featured her dressed as a clown because it is an "iconic image" with "so many different connotations."[22] For the album she choose to tone down her overtly sexual image because she felt that it was taking over the music. Her new image, inspired by paganism, featured her dressed in white or natural-coloured flowing gowns with loose, curly blond hair.

It is expected that during 2010, Goldfrapp will take on a new image once again, to fit with their forthcoming album Head First. The music on this album is said to be more 80s-influenced, whilst the artwork featured on the album's first single, "Rocket", features Alison in a pink jumpsuit. Something similar is expected to be used in their live shows, as it was with their previous album.[23][24]

Personal life

In February 2010 Goldfrapp spoke for the first time about her sexuality. In an interview with The Times, the singer confirmed she was dating film editor, Lisa Gunning, saying, "I think of everything as being about a person and a relationship, and I am in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful person. It just happens to be with a lady."[25]


  1. ^ "ASCAP ACE - Search Results". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  2. ^ "Alison Goldfrapp". The Insider. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  3. ^ a b Benson, Richard. Alison Goldfrapp: Ethereal Girl". The Daily Telegraph. 2 February 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  4. ^ a b Flinn, Sean. "Scaling Felt Mountain". Choler Magazine. 25 January 2002. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d Simpson, Dave. "The Friday Interview". The Guardian. 4 May 2001. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  6. ^ "Once Upon a Time on Felt Mountain". Mute Records. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  7. ^ "New Album Black Cherry". Mute Records. Retrieved 15 June 2007.
  8. ^ Hermann, Andy. "Review of Black Cherry". PopMatters. 2 May 2003. Retrieved 15 June 2007.
  9. ^ a b "Chart Stats: Goldfrapp". Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  10. ^ Caulfield, Keith. "Ask Billboard: 'Gold'finger". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 3 August 2006. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  11. ^ "Goldfrapp Radio". Retrieved 29 May 2007.
  12. ^ "2007 Grammy Award Nominations". Grammy Awards. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  13. ^ Ayers, Michael D. "Goldfrapp Quiets Down On 'Seventh Tree'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
  14. ^ a b Patterson, Sylvia. "Glam Slam". The Sunday Herald. 4 September 2005. Retrieved 15 June 2007.
  15. ^ Micallef, Ken. "Whips, Wolves, & Tricky". Yahoo!. 17 December 2000. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  16. ^ Stubbs, Dan. "In the Studio: Twiddling the Knobs This Month: Goldfrapp". Q. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  17. ^ Gallant, Michael. "Retro Disco Ooh La La". Keyboard Magazine. February 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2007.
  18. ^ Grow, Kory. "British electro-duo Goldfrapp evens out the odds with their latest, Supernature". College Music Journal. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  19. ^ Wilson Neate. "Girls Gone Wild". Dusted Magazine. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  20. ^ O'Connell, Sharon. "Strange Fruit". TimeOut London. 16 May 2003. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  21. ^ "Interview with Alison Goldfrapp". BBC. 29 June 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  22. ^ Papamarko, Sofi. "Conversations: Alison Goldfrapp". Exclaim!. October 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  23. ^ Welch, Andy. "It's not all glitz for Goldfrapp". Chester Chronicle. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  24. ^ Rogers, Jude. "Manure rather than manicure". The Guardian. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  25. ^ [1]Alison Goldfrapp: Speaks About Her Open Sexuality"]. The Times. 28 February 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2010.

External links

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