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Image via NPR.

Goldfrapp are an electronic duo from London, with Alison Goldfrapp providing the vocals and backing by Will Gregory on synth and strings. They draw influences from different sources, including film (specifically the ominous cult classic, The Wicker Man), surrealism, and nature. Their earlier albums like Black Cherry and Supernature are distinctly electronic and dance oriented, but recent work like Seventh Tree and Tales of Us takes a more ambient tone.

The stripped down, folk-electronic sound is especially heard on Tales of Us. The songs are gentle, but foreboding. Alison leads the listener down a dim path with creeping fog, but stops every so often at patches of light on the forest floor or glinting off lake water for some relief. Something is lurking behind her reflections, a shadow cast on memories, yet those memories are still worth having for her and for us.

Tales of Us is a shapeshifter. It fits in on soft summer days, and just as easily as overcast ones. It’s grey in Minneapolis today, and I’m gonna let Tales of Us work its mystery on the morning.