Today’s Track: The Cocteau Twins – “Lorelei”

As if Double Trouble wasn’t enough, this band has Triple the Trouble! New Post Time!

Good Morning to you on this unpleasantly warm weekend, I’m Jacob Braybrooke and I’m writing about your first daily track on the blog of the new month, since it’s always my routinely day-to-day pleasure to write about a different piece of music every day! Yes, even on my Mother’s birthday (Happy birthday, I know you’re about the only one reading this…)! Here’s a classic for you… The Cocteau Twins! A Scottish Art-Rock trio who were one of the biggest pioneers of Dream-Pop and Shoegaze in the 80’s and 90’s comprised of vocalist Elizabeth Fraser, producer James Guthrie and bassist Simon Raymonde, The Cocteau Twins were a very hot commodity for 4AD, which is still one of the most successful indie music labels to this very day, housing popular current acts like The National and Future Islands. “Lorelei” was taken from Cocteau Twins’ third full-length album release, “Treasure”, the first of which to feature the band’s famous primary line-up. The sound of the record established the group’s sound development in very ethereal, downbeat moods. Some of the lyrics from the album were conceived as unrecognisable, and the dark synth instrumentation hid some intricate, melodic lines that helped them to capture the hearts of the millions, despite the LP really not being a mainstream, or accessible, release by any stretch of the imagination. It was critically acclaimed, and it’s considered to be the band’s finest work by a large portion of their fanbase, although the band themselves have reflected upon the album’s quality as “under-developed” in later interviews, which truly shows their dedication to their own craft. Let’s have a listen to their track – “Lorelei” – below.

Named after the legend of a siren that lures fishermen to their deaths upon the “Lorelei” rock, which exists in the Rhine River near Sankt Goarhausen in Germany, Cocteau Twins’ make sure the lyrics are difficult to understand, but the point is the lack of matter that it has. Fraser whirs: “Can’t look out, Can’t look in, you just might, get yourself kissed right” over a high-pitched bass guitar riff and delayed pedal effects that create a smooth and relaxing backdrop for the lo-fi indie rock beats to flourish. An emotional bridge: “We’re covered by the sacred fire/Then you cut me to, you cut me to the bone” glides along earthly moods and fantastical tones evoked by a calming synth buzz and an accentual swoop of whimsical lyricism. Fraser recites: “and we can go” above a pounding rhythm of delayed guitar licks, while the impending surge of guitar riffs add a harmonious melody to the dream-like personality. It’s a track that’s near-impossible to praise enough. The female vocals are tricky to understand, but they significantly add to the soft, introspective qualities by adding a honeyed, loving angelic feeling to it. You just don’t need to hear a polished section of clear vocals to feel the mood that it conveys. In a nutshell – it’s marvellous!

Thank you very much for reading this post! I’ll be back tomorrow, as usual, with your new weekly edition of our Scuzz Sunday series. It’s the time of the week where we revisit an Emo-Rock or a Pop-Punk classic from between the late-1990’s until the mid-2000’s to see if it can live up to quality in the present! It’s a celebration of the defunct Scuzz TV freeview music video channel. If you really liked what you just read, why not follow the blog to get notified when each new post is up and like the Facebook page here?:

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