30.04.2010, Words by Charlie Jones


THE GOLDEN FILTER are fantastic. After putting out single ‘Thunderbird’ on DUMMY Records last year (BUY IT HERE), the NY duo, Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman, are back with their debut LP, ‘Voluspa’, on Brille. Named after a Nordic poem about the inception and demise of the world, ‘Voluspa’s’ sound is haunting and beautiful. Echoes of the unearthly Electroclash of The Knife and Goldfrapp infused with Donna Summer and DFA-Disco basslines is magic. Strange, moody and phantasmagorical, it is an album that reminds you of the sheer power of pop music. Trappes breathy vocals are exhilarating and Hindman’s synths are punchy. ‘Voluspa’ is about motion: it elevates, free-falls, dances, beats, claps, attacks, recoils, hides, paralyses… This is the album, track by track:

Dance Around the Fire
The album kicks off with heavy, heavy, heavy electronic strings. Repetitive strokes of a bow a violin, synths, whispy vocals intertwined between hand-claps. Best heard? Dancing around a fire, obviously.

Hide Me
A tale of unrequited love. It’s intense. Trappes describes her motion while subtly watching somebody or something. Lots of lust here: “I watch you so slowly, your every move, I know it”. Up tempo Disco beats and Italo synths compliment her gentle pleads: “Hide me, now find me”. Best heard? Playing hide and seek in a dark dark field somewhere (preferably naked).

Look Me In the Eye
A bubbly and sparkling cosmic flight across sand dunes and “starry skies”. Dripping in sexual overtones, the song is laced with rhetorical questions and anecdotal images. Best Heard? Sunset, slap bang in the middle of the desert. Wearing nothing but a wolf’s skin and squashed red berries as face paint.

Moonlight Fantasy
Trappes’ vocals (“Oh like fantasy hold me in your arms”/“ You make my heart hurt”) are breathy and longing. In comes a staggered, oh so rhythmic, bassline. Sounds like Donna Summer on Kitsune. Best heard? Under a full moon covered in glitter.

Solid Gold
The duo’s first tune. Still can’t get enough of that synth riff. Sounds good here too. Best heard? On Moloko’s dancefloor for Sing it Back.

The Underdogs
This one is moody, slowed right down. Lightly tapped tambourines, hand-claps and Trappes whispers about unrequited love and strangers keepin’ it together. ahhhh. For what? Love? The phone rings… and he’s gone (“I call but he never answers”). Best heard? In your room. Alone.

Kitsch Disco beats and head-bopping beats. Sounds well Optimo but slower. It’s a poppy synth-explosion to make the sun come out from behind the clouds. Best heard? Inside Space Invaders. Not playing it. Actually inside it.

Frejya’s Ghost
This is gradual, reflective but actually quite bouncy. Mmmm lovely, bassline is warm and dancey. Definitely my favourite on the album (which just gets better and better by the way). Well-worked with a delightful synth riff that shimmers. Best heard? Right here, right now. Anytime.

Kiss Her Goodbye
Really ambient opening. There is something brooding about this one. Big Drum, echoes, horses reins, a drum machine and its barely over one minute. Best heard? On Mars with an electrical storm brewing.

Nerida’s Gone
An autumnal ballad accompanied by a sombre piano. Sounds like the interlude for a West End musical. But better. Best heard? In a park kicking brown leaves wearing a purple bonnet.

Thunderbird (Buy the mp3 HERE)
The new(ish) single released on DUMMY. Wild, accomplished, dance-floor friendly Disco. Best heard? ON THE DANCEFLOOR!


‘Voluspa’ is out now (BUY IT HERE)

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