Wednesday, February 27, 2013

seventh tree

Goldfrapp chilled out their club friendly grooves to create the folktronic ambience of this engagingly expansive emotional exploration. After the dance chart success of 'Supernature' the duo was ready to move in a new musical direction. Will Gregory explains: "I think we both felt the need to shut things down a bit. I think we felt that maybe with 'Supernature', the voice had been sort of caricatured or stylized and processed, and we wanted to go back to a much more intimate and personal solo voice where the character of the music and the emotion is coming from that. Sometimes we did some jams which were just with one instrument and her voice to do the writing with, and that just felt really nice, you know, that space. Sometimes we would look back at 'Supernature' and think we're working really hard on our drama here - maybe we don't have to work as hard as that. You can make things dramatic and startling with much more minimal resources and I think that was part of the enjoyment and the fun of working on [the album]. Or the exploration - trying to figure out another way of getting those moments in drama that we're always after."

Alison Goldfrapp reflects: "I think this one's been brewing for a while. A kind of aesthetic or sound that we've always been interested in-- which is probably why we made 'Felt Mountain' in the first place. And even though it's very different from 'Felt Mountain', it's a soundworld that we're fond of. And we've talked for a long while about doing stuff with harps and doing something more intimate. And as a result of touring 'Supernature' for so long, it felt time to do something that had more space, and was a bit quieter."

Gregory says: "We're very lucky in that we've got a record company who are keen to experiment and try different things. I think in some ways we were more scared about it than they were. We were kind of thinking, 'What are we doing?'. And we played them a couple of tracks, early demos, and they loved it. So that was great. Because I think our record company are quite unusual like that-- they like music, and they like being stimulated. They're quite like us, aren't they?"

Goldfrapp reckons: "Saying that you've got acoustic instruments and that's traditional and so people will think it's more intimate, that will always be the case. It's a more intimate sound, so it's going to sound more direct whatever you're singing about. I mean, it is a more personal record. But I think by the nature of having a voice that is more upfront and the way the vocals are set against the music, it's always going to feel more personal, even if the lyrics weren't, if you know what I mean? So it has it's moments of being more intimate or being personal, it's true. Some of it's confessional, but some of it is complete and utter gobbledeegook!"

They produced the album in their hometown of Bath, England with Alison Goldfrapp on lead vocals, backing vocals, production, engineering, mixing, art direction, and owl drawing; and Will Gregory on production, engineering, and mixing; with Jonathan Allen as string engineer; Flood on additional production, co-production, keyboards, guitar, mixing, and additional stems mixing; Nick Batt and Max Dingle on additional drum programming; Cathy Edwards on art direction; Richard Evans on guitar; Steve Evans on acoustic guitar; Chris Goulstone on drum samples and guitar; Isobel Griffiths as string contractor; Tony Hoffer on mixing, overdub engineering, and bass; Nick Ingman on string conduction and string orchestration; Charlie Jones on bass and twang bass; Paddy Lannigan on double bass; Serge Leblon on photography; Alex Lee on acoustic guitar, Nashville guitar, bass, and electric guitar; Aidan Love on additional programming and keyboards; Mat Maitland on art direction and design; Stephen Marcussen on mastering; Stephen Marshall as assistant string engineer; Justin Meldal-Johnsen on bass; Metro Voices as the choir; Bill Mims as mixing assistant and overdub engineer; Kit Morgan and Andrew Murphy on acoustic guitar; Everton Nelson as string leader; Jenny O'Grady as choir master; Tim Oliver as additional engineer; Damon Reece on drums and percussion; Simon Rogers on Indian guitar; Mary Scully on double bass; Leila Stacey as assistant string contractor; Adrian Utley on fuzz bass and fuzz guitar; Ruth Wall on harp samples; Denny Weston, Jr. on drums; David Daniels, Robin Firman, Cathy Giles, Paul Kegg, Melissa Phelps, and Chris Worsey on cello; Peter Lale, Andy Parker, Chris Pitsilides, and Katie Wilkinson on viola; and Alexander Bălănescu, Mark Berrow, Chris Clad, Dermot Crehan, Patrick Kiernan, Boguslaw Kostecki, Ann Morfee, Stephen Morris, Everton Nelson, Tom Pigott-Smith, Joanathan Rees, Jackie Shave, Sonia Slany, Cathy Thompson, Chris Tombling, and Debbie Widdup on violin.  

Gregory describes the effect of the rural setting on the music: "Just outside of Bath, in the Somerset countryside. It was a happy experience, yeah. The thing is, writing an album, it sort of seems it must be dependent on where you are, but a lot of it is just being left alone, to get on with it. It's a good reason for being in the country because you don't get any distractions. Countryside, a lot of it is just about getting your head cleared out of all the background noise of daily life. So I think we tend to be quite monkish and isolated. And that helps you get right into it."

Goldfrapp considers: "When I listen to music, what’s important is that it takes you on a journey. As much as I'm into the structure of music, or how I love the way film music works with images and emotions, I'm more interested in being 'taken' somewhere. Any music that really takes you, expels you, fires you off into some kind of other universe is really special. It's kind of the point of it for me. So, yes, when writing lyrics and melodies, when composing a structure of a song, there's a real aim there: to make it feel like you’re going on a journey. That there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. And an atmosphere. All our albums, all our songs, they all have their own little world, as it were. Or, at least, that's the aim."

'Seventh Tree' bloomed at seventy-two in Spain, fifty-seven in Italy, forty-eight in the US, thirty-nine in New Zealand, thirty-seven in Austria and France, twenty-eight in Canada, twenty-one in Germany, twenty-four in the Netherlands, eighteen in Norway and Portugal, fourteen on the US top rock albums, twelve on the US top alternative albums chart, eleven in Australia and Switzerland, ten in Belgium, nine in Ireland, five on the European top 100 albums chart, and number two in the UK.

1. "Clowns" 4:08
made an appearance at number one hundred and fifteen in the UK.

2. "Little Bird" 4:25

3. "Happiness" 4:17
made it to number twenty-five in the UK.

4. "Road to Somewhere" 3:52

Goldfrapp- Road To Somewhere-Seventh Tree by chicethautaine

5. "Eat Yourself" 4:06

6. "Some People" 4:40

7. "A&E" 3:18
went to ninety-eight in Germany, eighty-five in Australia, thirty-eight in Belgium, thirty-three in Ireland, twenty-two on the US hot dance club song chart, ten in the UK, and number one on the US hot dance singles sales chart.

8. "Cologne Cerrone Houdini" 4:26

9. "Caravan Girl" 4:05
travelled to fifty-four in the UK and number nine on the US hot dance singles sales chart.

'Seventh Tree' 
full album:

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