I’ve started to get back into Goldfrapp over the last week, and returned to their album ‘Tales of Us’. The first track I listened to a couple of years ago was the beautifully intimate ‘Drew’, yet upon listening to this album fully, it is ‘Annabel’ that proves to be one of the highlights.
The track as far as I’m aware is based upon a book of the same name, which revolved around an intersex child called Wayne. His parents, under the advice of doctors, proceeds to agree with surgically reassigning Wayne as a male at birth. From what I’ve researched, the book moves onto Wayne’s exploration of the secret kept hidden away from him, and therefore begins to identify with ‘Annabel’ as a result of his mother trying to raise the girl within. This is a book that I would very much like to read, so there may be a post about this in future.
Back to the song however, it is a gentle and emotional listen, especially if watching the video alongside it. The short film sees the titular character run around the woods, retreating to a den made up of trinkets representing the desire to become ‘Annabel’. I won’t spoil the conclusion, but it’s a touching portrayal of acceptance and liberation, and combined with Goldfrapp’s voice, it really does pull on the heartstrings.
*As an end note, I do apologise if any of the pronouns in this article are wrong when discussing people who identify as intersex.