Old Music: Cocteau Twins’ “Crushed”
- By Jon Lloyd
- The Guardian
- 21-Mar 2013
The Cocteau Twins were not a band to be understood—instead they invited you to fly into the mystery
Created for record label 4AD’s compilation of some of its finest artists circa 1987—Lonely is An Eyesore—Cocteau Twins’ “Crushed” is among my favourite tracks from a band that changed the musical landscape, and have never been equalled. The accompanying VHS release of that album also offered a rare chance to own visual “proof” of this ethereal trio’s existence. The video glistens at you, with the band appearing like aliens in the mist, fresh from whatever spaceship they’d been in that day. Hands move across instruments out of time, displaced from their own creations, as if the music itself has been set free from any form of governance. Liz Fraser’s unnerving eyes take on even more profound depths of ungraspable poignancy, rendering any attempt at understanding the words coming out of her mouth pointless (yet I am reliably informed they are thus: “Fein Funnel Fresh aches/ Honey they’re losing me/thistle follow/ Will he see a ya ya ya ya/thistle fresh aches”. All I can say is—I hope not).
How can a song begin by sounding so much like an ending? And not just any ending—the end of everything. But in a beautiful, resigned way. And how could something that doesn’t tell you anything at all convey so much? These thoughts loop around my head every time I listen to “Crushed.”
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