Goldfrapp, ‘Tales of Us’

Composer Will Gregory and vocalist Alison Goldfrapp, both from the UK, have been writing music together under the name Goldfrapp since 2000, when they released “Felt Mountain” — a weird, seductive venture into a world of retro and futuristic synths, cabaret atmospherics, and Bond songs that never were. Later, they moved toward electropop/dance music. “Tales of Us” is closer to “Felt Mountain” and “Seventh Tree” (their folk-influenced 2008 album) than to the rest of their work. The songs are impressionist character sketches, often dark. “Annabel” is a confusing tale of gender confusion; “Clay” evokes forbidden love. Goldfrapp’s vocals flit Björk-like between whispers and swells, occasionally climbing to the highest peaks of an incredible range. Most of the tracks feature strings, but only one, “Thea,” a breathless dance ballad, has a beat. Like “Felt Mountain,” the album has a movie score feel, but this time every track is its own short film. (Out now)


Goldfrapp plays the Paradise Rock Club Sept. 20.