I’ve have a history with music that goes back in years longer than I care to admit for fear of revealing my age, yet my affair with modern rock music has yielded years of experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. As I listen to much of what is being produced these days as modern rock, I can’t help to hear the various time periods of influences that shimmer and shine in the sounds of today’s music. Maybe a result of intention, unrecognized influence, or pure coincidence, it influences what I find interesting in today’s music scene. With all of these reminders of a past in this current, I find myself wanting to take time to look back and rediscover these sounds that existed in a time when there was more room for originality, more chances to surprise and leave a lifelong impression.
My first experience with the Cocteau Twins comes as some of my earliest experiences with music came about. I liked the album cover. When I was young, and had no resources available to inform my curiosity about music, I often took to an album because of the cover art, not knowing anything about what I was going to experience from the sound. The Cocteau Twins were probably one last band that I discovered through this simple, visual selection process as, by this point in my life there were more resources available for discovering music. I was working at a music store at the time and doing everything in my power to utilize my discount to discover anything new and different. Remember now, I’m a music junkie, and always have been. I frequently rummaged through the sale bin, which was filled with the albums that just weren’t moving in the store. The music store in small town Texas. Something about this cover, from a band whose name I wasn’t even sure I could pronounce, intrigued me.
What I discovered on this piece of vinyl wasn’t anything too far removed from some of the other bands I had been discovering at the time, sounding a bit like early Cure or even Joy Division, but there was something strangely curious that kept my attention over the years. Eilizabeth Fraser’s unique singing style layered on top of Robin Gutherie’s shimmering guitars stabbed at my curiosity. I found myself investing time with subsequent releases that found the band discovering it’s own legs and growing into a group with it’s own unique and beautifully haunting sound.
As the years slide away, many bands that may have held my attention at some point, slide away as easily as the time seems to, but few remain a to remind me of discovery and brilliance. The Cocteau Twins remain one of those bands. The songs and sounds of the band lay down the backdrop for some of the most personal memories from some of the most trying and claimed times of my life, and the music still stands relevant. Blue Bell Knoll and Treasure are favorites amongst an 11 album history in 14 years. I listen to the music today and think as to how much impact the band were to have on the current scene if they were a band of now.
No band has better song titles than “Spooning Good Singing Gum”, “A Kissed Out Red Floatboat”, “The Itchy Glowbo Glow”, “Otterley”, or “Iceblink Luck”.
MP3> Cocteau Twins ‘Pandora’
MP3> Cocteau Twins ‘For Phoebe Still a Baby’
MP3> Cocteau Twins ‘The Itchy Glowbo Blow’