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Ivors Academy Honours Cocteau Twins with 2022 “Visionary Award”

  • By CocteauTwins.com
  • NEWS
  • 19-May 2022

The Ivors, one of the UK’s most prestigious and beloved annual music awards, has honoured Cocteau Twins—Robin Guthrie, Elizabeth Fraser, and Simon Raymonde—with this year’s “Visionary Award.”

The Ivors with Apple Music celebrates creative excellence by British and Irish songwriters and screen composers. It is one of the most loved and respected moments in music.

Recognised as a pinnacle of achievement since they were first presented in 1956, The Ivors Academy presents Ivor Novello Awards for exceptional songwriting and composing.

Elizabeth and Robin appeared in person to accept their award. Simon was unable to attend, and so fellow musician, friend, and Cocteau Twins fan John Grant accepted on his behalf.

In response to the news, Simon Raymonde posted to Facebook, writing:

“Thanks to the @ivorsacademy for this very special award. Honoured to receive this today and huge huge thanks to my dear friend and colleague @johngrantofficial for accepting the award on my behalf in my absence. So happy for Elizabeth and Robin too, feels good even 25 years after we stopped making music together that we received this accolade for our work in #cocteautwins. It shows that time has been fairly kind to our work and that recognition even in the autumn of our lives, is very much appreciated. It is rare for the band to receive such attention, and while I live very much in the present day with my own music (@losthorizonsband), with the label @bella_union and @bellaunionmgmt, I will allow myself a moment of quiet contemplation to consider this beautiful wee “pat on the back”.

In the program, the Ivors Academy wrote:

If the key to being visionary is to see things that others can’t, then Cocteau Twins certainly understood the assignment.

This is a band who, via the incredible vocal flights of fancy of Elizabeth Fraser and the unique musical soundscapes created by Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde, completely reinvented our idea of what pop music could sound like.

Starting out in Scotland as Siouxsie and the Banshees fans and named after a Johnny and the Self-Abusers song, the Cocteaus—as everyone knew them—would go on to push the sonic parameters like no other band before or since. No wonder music journalists everywhere had to reach for the word ‘ethereal’ in an attempt to describe such wonders.

Because, when the Cocteaus first landed in our lives in the early ’80s, they were unlike anything most of us had ever heard. Even more remarkably, they stayed that way throughout a remarkably prolific, constantly innovative burst of albums and EPs.

It wasn’t just Fraser’s unique voice, or the lyrics that often seemed to be in their own inimitable—yet somehow satisfyingly singsongable—language. But the unique song structures on the likes of Sugar Hiccup, Aikea-Guinea and Iceblink Luck (even their song titles were unlike anyone else’s!) made for a truly immersive experience.

None of which prevented them from enjoying hit singles (including Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops and Tishbite), while the more accessible lyrics on later albums such as Heaven or Las Vegas and Four-Calendar Café even saw them conquer America.

But really, theirs was a creative collaboration that existed far beyond such earthly concerns. The band split in 1997, with all three members going on to suitably inspired solo careers. And while a mooted reunion fell apart in 2005, today will see them reunited for this award. And you don’t have to be a visionary to see that rarely has such an accolade been so richly deserved.

Read the full article online from its source.

Ivors Academy Honours Cocteau Twins with 2022
Elizabeth Fraser & Robin Guthrie
Ivors Academy Honours Cocteau Twins with 2022
Liz and Robin accepting their award, with John Grant presenting and accepting on Simon's behalf.
Ivors Academy Honours Cocteau Twins with 2022
The Ivors' official programme, with Cocteau Twins' citation.