singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
1 September 2022
listening with headphonesAvid Acutus
Benz Micro LP-S
Linn Klimax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove Mk 2
TEAD Vibe Phoenix / Pulse 2
Luxman P-1u
Sennheiser HD800

I wonder what the Cocteau Twins are doing these days?

12" single

Liz Fraser and, I think a bunch of people who used to be in Spiritualized, assisted by Thighpaulsandra from out of off Julian Cope.

I love a gear list, and we have an impressively odd list of keyboards. Unspecified Moogs and Mellotrons aren’t that interesting, but Optigans (Mellotron’s weirder cousin) and price-of-a-house CS80s are. As are RMIs and Solinas. The Cimbalom is weird enough that I had to look it up. Back in my day we were happy with a CZ101 and a DX100.

Liz still sounds wonderful, of course, though it’s never quite the same when you can tell what she’s saying. The first song is great, and then every one’s not quite as good as the last. Side 2 has a bit of a musical theatre vibe.

I want to like this more than I do, but the sound and the feel aren’t my bag. The voice is Cocteaus level, but the tunes and the sound aren’t.

CD single

How much attention do you pay to ambient music? Is the point that it engages with the subconscious, or should you let it envelop you to a point where it takes over your conscious thought? The first is certainly easier, and is what mostly happened to me while I was listening to this. It’s lovely though, especially All for Nothing, which lets a Rhodes and a Hammond fall into the beautiful whooshing vortex.

Beautiful, but you can’t help but feel something’s missing.

CD single

Stretching it now, because this came out twenty-five years ago, but it’s the only single he’s released, and there’s still some completist in me.

The title track is pretty nice. Good tune, swooping guitar that could be Robin Guthrie if he forgot to turn the effects rack on. It’s got a great melody, and a vaguely country-ish feel reminiscent of Four Calendar Cafe.

Next (and last) is In My Place, which is a Bordleaux and Felice Bryant song. They wrote stuff for the Everlys, so it’s solid from the ground up. It’s got a lovely shuffle, the dude drumming played with the Cocteaus when they toured (I never liked them live) and the lady that duets sounds like she’s singing through three rotary telephones at once.


Will Heggie was not available for comment.