“Really, [Twinlights] was kind of an exercise, if you like, for ourselves. We thought, ‘We write nice bits of music, but can we write a song?’ You know, if you took all this stuff away—if you took all the effects off a minute—is there actually a song underneath? Four-track EPs are just brilliant because they’re like little experiments. You’re dipping your toe in a pool you don’t normally spend any time in. You think, ‘Well, look, I’d like to do something acoustic. I don’t really want to make a whole album of it, because people will think this is our new direction.’ With the Twinlights thing and the Otherness thing, we were able to do that and do things we don’t normally do. That’s a great arena for us. I want to put out two or three of these every year.” Simon Raymonde
“My love addiction was worse than ever. I was maniacal. Twinlights is about that man. My ‘last goodbye,’ as it were. I was too needy and he was too much of an avoidance person. Naturally.” Elizabeth Fraser
- September 1995
- Fontana/Mercury & Capitol
- 13 min, 55 sec
- Rilkean Heart
- Pink Orange Red
- Elizabeth Fraser
- Robin Guthrie
- Simon Raymonde
- Phil Boyden, Violin
- Paul Costin, Violin
- Fiona Griffith, Viola
- Helen Thomas, Cello
- Written, performed and produced by Cocteau Twins.
- Recorded and mixed at September Sound.
- Additional recordings at Wessex.
- String arrangements for “Half-Gifts” by Thomas M. Hill.
- A Blue Source sleeve. Photography by Nick Knight.
- Peaked at #59 on the UK album chart.
- “Rilkean Heart” is about the late Jeff Buckley. The title is a reference to the poet Rainer Maria Rilke.
- “Rilkean Heart” and “Half-Gifts” appear on the 1996 LP Milk & Kisses in radically different form.
- “Pink Orange Red” originally appeared on the 1985 EP Tiny Dynamine.
- Digitally remastered and re-released in 2005 as part of Lullabies to Violaine.
- All tracks from Twinlights were included in the 2018 release Treasure Hiding: The Fontana Years.
- A long format video was produced for “Rilkean Heart” and “Half-Gifts” together under the working title “Rilkean Dreams,” created by Dirk Van Dooren and Tomato. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Charleston International Film Festival in Charleston, South Carolina in 1995.
- An alternate Chinese version of “Rilkean Heart” was recorded by Faye Wong (Wangfei).
- The title shares its name with a handful of lighthouses in the United States.
Listen and buy online
- “The truth is not perfect: Robin Guthrie on the Cocteau Twins’ major label years”. Sonic Cathedral. 31-May 2020.
- “Embracing Otherness”. Val Phoenix. Alternative Press. Jan 1996.
- “Really Twins Again”. Tim Rollins. Music Monitor. 1996.
- “Making Points”. Matt Ashare. The Boston Phoenix. 14-Dec 1995.
- “Songs from the Siren”. Mark C. O’Flaherty. Boyz. 11-Nov 1995.
- “Settling in with Fontana”. Martin Aston. Music Week. 16-Oct 1995.
- “The Band Who are Definitely Not Spokespersons for a Generation”. Volume. Winter 1995.