Song of the Day: Cocteau Twins “Iceblink Luck”
“Iceblink Luck” is a great example of the Cocteau Twins going into full ‘sonic cathedral’ mode. The group were incredibly adept at the using the recording studio to really emphasize the already ethereal qualities of singer Liz Fraser‘s voice, making her sound like some kind of haunted siren. The song was one of the Cocteau Twins highest charting singles and it appeared on their wonderful 1990 album Heaven or Las Vegas. The whole record is an absolute joy, with “Iceblink Luck” merely one of the many highlights. Given the troubled inner turmoil of the band throughout much of its period of mainstream success, including the writing and recording of the album, it is amazing to think that they could produce music this thought out and accomplished. The record is the sound of a group hitting their peak.
Cocteau Twins were founded in Grangemouth, Scotland in 1979. Originally consisting of the aforementioned Liz Fraser, guitarist Robin Guthrie (who Fraser was married to for a time) and bassist Will Heggie (who would be replaced by multi-instrumentalist Simon Raymonde in 1983) the group sounded like no other group at the time. Emphasizing the otherworldly beauty of Fraser’s voice, the band layered on shoegaze, darkwave and mild goth influences to create something entirely new. The band recorded prolifically, particularly after the on-boarding of Raymonde which saw the development of their trademark sound. Internal strife, Guthrie‘s growing dependence on drugs and alcohol (which also broke up his personal relationship with Fraser) saw the band come to a skittering halt in 1997. Following the demise of the group, Gurthrie and Fraser have both pursued notable solo careers.
For more on this group, I’ve previously written about the break-up of Cocteau Twins and Liz Fraser‘s relationship with singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley in a previous Song of the Day post here.