London-based electro-pop duo Goldfrapp released it's sixth studio album Tales Of Us in the UK today.
They have also released a music video "Annabel," the second single off the album, which tells the story of one child's struggle with gender identity.
The lyrics include:
When you dream your only dream, you're Annabel
Sleep reminds you, takes you there, oh Annabel
Gentle whisper, endless winters, Annabel
Why've they couldn't let you be both, Annabel?
Land of the lines
Of the years below still lies
You are the truth they denied
Run like the sea
Tangled there in porcelain
Under the stars you begin
The video, shot mostly in muted black-and-white, draws you in instantly with its intense intimacy.
The band describes it as a "film about a girl trapped inside the body of a boy."
The track is based on the book Annabel by Kathleen Winter, which is focused on an intersex child.
When the author listened to the finished song, she found herself overwhelmed:
I realized my work had entered a new place – it had become part of all music: it belonged in the communal air, not just in my body, or the writer's lair, anymore [...] I'd handed Alison Goldfrapp an egg and she'd held it until it bore an infinitesimal crack, and out of that space escaped the longed-for bird girl in each of us, and the bird girl had her wings and could fly.
The video features a child seeking solace in his treasured possessions and his own personal drawings.
The storyline picks up as you see a mother, played by Allison Goldfrapp herself, place something into a brown lunch bag.
The gift? A simple gold sequined dress.
The absolute joy caused by this simple gesture is translated on screen as the video bursts into full color for the remaining moments.
Allison says of her music video:
It's very much about memory, identity and gender. I've always been fascinated by dual creatures, personas, people, personalities, and transformation. I think it's a theme that's pretty much always in fairy tales and horror, which I love. What struck me about Annabel is that the parents are in total denial of what their child is: this child has to choose in the end, and that's what society is making them do. Why can't you be both? I feel really strongly about that whole concept in so many things in life. All the characters in these songs are trying to figure out who they are, where they're going, and why they are who they are.