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Music Video Review: Goldfrapp, "Stranger"

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Music Video Review: Goldfrapp, “Stranger”

A mere 10 days after the premiere of “Jo,” Goldfrapp has unveiled the fifth music video from their latest album, Tales of Us. The final chapter of a 30-minute film directed by Lisa Gunning that weaves disparate tales of love, loss, madness, and identity, “Stranger” is shot in the same gauzy, low-contrast black and white as “Drew” and “Annabel,” the dreamy, nostalgic tone initially edging perilously close to that of a Calvin Klein fragrance commercial. Like the stunning “Annabel,” which also cleverly features singer Alison Goldfrapp in a minimal role, the video focuses on a queer character (played by Irish actress Laura Donnelly) who revisits the seaside location of a Sapphic tryst with a married stranger. While the earlier clip told the tale of a young child coming to terms with her gender, “Stranger” seems to perpetuate a much thornier concept: that of the homosexual as a lethal predator. It’s one that’s been explored to varying degrees of success, from the divisive 1980 film Cruising to last year’s acclaimed Stranger by the Lake. Here, what at first seems like a symbol of remorse, her dead lover’s wedding band still hanging from her neck years later, turns out to be not a memento for what could have been, but one of many that will never be.

A deluxe edition of Tales of Us will be released digitally on June 30th including all five videos, along with the audio from the group’s recent concert performance at London’s Air Studios. Goldfrapp will perform at the Glastonbury Festival this Saturday at 8:30 BST. The show will be broadcast live here.