Penelope Trappes is perhaps best-known as one half of the acclaimed electronic duo The Golden Filter, but in recent years the Brighton-based Aussie chanteuse has made a splash with a series of remarkable solo records, by turns dark, brooding, enigmatic and euphoric - the latest of which, Penelope Three (Houndstooth) has just been released, to considerable acclaim.

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We asked Penelope for her choice cultural picks...

FILM

I have 2…. One of the last great full length films that I have seen is In The Earth by Ben Wheatley. I normally can’t do horror, as I tend to take it too much to heart - and can’t get it out of my mind for weeks - but I decided to give this one a go, probably because it was curiously described as a 'psychedelic horror’. Also, I adore forests and have been reading a lot about the power of trees’ communication with one another other via the mycelium network. That the antagonist in the film is in the forest was deeply engaging and equally disturbing for me. The fact that Wheatley wrote the movie in 2 weeks during ‘lockdown one’ , filmed it that summer and then had it completed by the end of the year makes the movie even more impressive in my eyes.

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The new short film by Pedro Almodovar, The Human Voice, which is based upon the play of the same name by Jean Cocteau is captivating. Perhaps mostly, because it stars Tilda Swinton, who pretty much always has my complete attention. It’s 30 minutes and stars only Tilda, and a rather lovely dog, coping with the end of a relationship. Watching her teetering on the edge and slowly unraveling, in Almodovar’s visually stunning form, was a delight. But also seeing her find her own sense of resolution and sense of self at the end was empowering and inspiring.

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MUSIC

Because I curate a three-hour radio show on 1BTN Radio here in Brighton each month, I am constantly searching for new and old music that is predominantly meditative, ambient, shoegaze, experimental and always tinged with a sense of the gothic. That is rather broad but really the truth is my listening and appreciation is broad, always has been. Three of the the latest new releases that I have been enjoying would be Lucy Gooch's Rain’s Break, SAULT's Nine, and Fatima Al-Qadiri's Medieval Femme.

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BOOK

I’m in the middle of reading The Monolithic Undertow by Harry Sword. From the moment I read the first chapter, where Sword mentions that the sound of The Big Bang at the beginning of the universe is reminiscent of a drone, he had me. This book is about the power of the drone throughout history – from the feelings of warmth through to dread that it can elicit - and of its importance within cultural and ritual music as well as modern underground music. I am beyond inspired by what I have read so far and it is exactly where my mind needs to wander right now as i have been consistently building my own music from drones on all three of my albums, with no intention of stopping this process.

PLAY

I wish I could say I have seen a lot and read a lot of plays, but sadly I haven’t. In the past when I’ve seen a play I always think "I should go to the theatre more often!", but between my artist budget and now with lockdown restrictions, I am somewhat prevented from going. Hopefully i will attend more as the last one i have seen was 1984 at The Playhouse Theatre a bunch of years ago - which i thought was fantastic.

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TV

Sadly, unlike theatre, there is too much time for TV probably because it IS affordable - somewhat. Is it the new theatre? Three shows i have recently loved: I May Destroy You (Michaela Coel is a genius), Euphoria - the second special episode F**k Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob, and super late to the party, but I loved The Fall with Gillian Anderson.

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GIG

I just bought tickets to see Low in April 2022, which feels like eons away, but I really can’t wait to see them. I also bought tickets to see Porridge Radio in November in our mutual hometown of Brighton, so that should be a fun night. This Friday, I am hoping to get tickets to see Warren Ellis and Nick Cave playing another hometown show here in Brighton. Fingers crossed I can get tickets, because as you can imagine they’re beyond popular here! The last live show I attended was Aldous Harding at Earth in London - it was absolutely mesmerising.

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ART

For a long while I’ve been inspired by Francesca Woodman’s photography, it's no secret that the images of myself have a similar tone. If someone said my music was like early 4AD music wrapped inside a Francesca Woodman daydream, I would be very happy. I think someone in press may have actually said something like that, actually. I’ve also been researching Ana Mendieta for a video project that I am working on and I’m really moved by her work and the powerful feminist statements within them. Her life story is fascinating too. So strong.

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RADIO/PODCAST

New Weird Australia...

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TECH

I use my app Magic Seaweed every single day for swimming conditions here in Brighton as I don’t like to go a day without a morning swim, and i want to be prepared for the conditions. I also have a deep secret interest in astrology so I dabble in the Chani app and also CoStar. My daughter just got me into another social media platform called Letterboxd. Not that I need more social media in my life. However I made an exception because this app that allows you to track, list, share and review movies.

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THE NEXT BIG THING...

Going off the grid. Or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking.

Penelope Three by Penelope Trappes (released by Houndstooth) is out now.