Allison Goldfrapp is indeed an enigma. The London songstress has had a long and illustrious career, and has brought us five full length albums (with the help of her only other bandmate, Will Gregory) since 1999, and shows no signs of stopping. The entire span of Goldfrapp’s discography could be described thusly: much like a gift basket of assorted fine cheeses, all of the items are essentially similar (ambient, predominantly electronic music with various auxiliary instruments), however, they each have their own distinct flavor, much like gouda is different from Munster (and Black Cherry‘s glam rock and dance tendencies are in contrast to Supernature‘s overwhelmingly pop sound).
With Goldfrapp’s newest effort, Tales Of Us, on the horizon, it seems only natural to release a single from this much-anticipated release. The single itself, though, titled Drew, is anything but natural. It begins with an intricate piano melody, then continues to add elements such as Allison Goldfrapp’s wispy vocals, and harmonious, yet melancholy strings. With each measure, the listener feels pulled deeper into the recesses of memory, into the corridors of remembrance. This is where the true beauty of the song lies: instead of crying out in that most relatable of sorrows, the feeling of heartbreak, this is a meta-phase, a narration of love long past, but still seeking to focus on the bright moments in said relationship, while at the same time keeping the form of the retelling level, and at times, even somber. The lyrics reflect this perfectly: “Remember the time, we stood there by the lake, watching boats and planes, pretty white clouds”.
At the mid-point of the track, the strings reach a harrowing crescendo, taking over as the melody, and sweeping away all doubts as to the veracity of Goldfrapp’s message. As the song closes, her vocals reach an angelic pitch, and the entire atmosphere seems suspended in a stasis of minimalist chamber pop. It is hard to tell what kind of expensive cheese Tales of Us will be, but suffice to say, it should be incredibly satisfying and profound, much like Drew.