“I think writing an album is like being lost in a wood,” says Will Gregory. “You’re trying to figure out an interesting path. You don’t know whether it’s going to be a dead end or somewhere interesting and you never know when to stop because around the corner some beautiful vista might open up.”
Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have been finding new paths through the forest since their 2000 debut album Felt Mountain, never going the same way twice. “We’ve never liked repeating ourselves,” says Alison. “Often we react to things we’ve just done. We like the spontaneity of not knowing. It’s only through the process that we start to figure out what it is. The fans who have stuck with us are the ones who embrace that idea and are excited by the thought that they don’t know quite what to expect next.”
If 2013’s Tales of Us, a set of noirish folk fables, roamed the same pastoral landscape as Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree, then Silver Eye (a reference to the moon) belongs to the pulsing, electronic lineage of Black Cherry and Supernature only deeper and darker. The common thread between these two modes, apart from the consistently exquisite arrangements and Alison’s extraordinary voice, is a set of enduring preoccupations, which inform both the lyrics and the visual aesthetic. “Mysticism, ecstasy, ritual, contemplation, metamorphosis, the elemental,” says Alison, who took all of the photographs and creatively directed all artwork visuals. “I’ve realised that there are things I feel passionate about on a deep level and they’re in this record.”
Silver Eye, Goldfrapp’s seventh album, is dance music, which evokes a pagan ritual rather than a club soundtrack. Cold, metallic electronics with a hot current of blood running through them. Cinematic pop music with a twist. A celebration of the thirst for transformation and intense sensation. A 21st century moon dance. It weaves together the two strands of Goldfrapp’s music like never before.