Anglo For Your Ear: Cocteau Twins’ “Carolyn’s Fingers”

Liz Fraser has always disturbed me. Kate Bush‘s high, reedy voice was always endearingly pixilated, but Fraser, with her spooky operatic range, seemed slightly sinister. And her wild, deranged eyes in the 1988 video for “Carolyn’s Fingers” don’t help things. (My friend says she looks like Ernest Borgnine.) But this song is just so absorbing and fascinating with its overwhelming mix of sounds: post-punk guitar shadings and techno beats, brought together with Fraser’s ghostly soprano and rolling Celtic ‘r’s. (And, yes, I know the band’s from Scotland before you email me all indignant and wounded.)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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