It took a while, but finally singer Elizabeth Fraser and partner Damon Reece have their first EP out under the name Sun’s Signature. Five tracks that bring together everything we hoped for.
It is now twenty-five years ago that Cocteau Twins stopped and the few musical signals that singer Fraser left behind could be counted on one hand. Although her contribution to Massive Attacks Teardrop in 1998, right after the departure of Cocteau Twins, was immediately a legendary one.
She released some solo singles (Underwater in 2000 and Moses in 2009) but it was ultimately a contribution to Anohni (Antony Hegarty) curated 2012 Meltdown at London’s Royal Festival Hall that once again put her in the spotlight. And then it went quiet again, except for some contributions to albums by Oneohtrix Point Never and Sam Lee.
In the meantime, together with her life partner Damon Reece, she worked on the tracks that can now be found on Sun’s Signature. Drummer Reece was the leader of the band that had already appeared on the Meltdown gigs (and to which he had invited his then Spiritualized buddies Sean Cook (guitar) and Martin Shellard (guitar)). Reece became more and more the sound engineer of the songs. A musician who fully understands what Fraser’s voice needs to glory.
Surprisingly, Fraser and Reece’s first EP opens with a refreshed version of Underwater. A beautiful new version in which Fraser’s special vocals grab you so hard that you know exactly why you missed them so much in recent years. In the right song setting, no voice is as beautiful as Fraser’s.
Golden Air, which follows Underwater, is a majestic re-acquaintance with one of the most beautiful voices in pop music. What a great track this is and what a beautiful guitar playing from guitar legend Steve Hackett! Indeed the guitarist who made Genesis so special (and legendary) in their early years together with Peter Gabriel (with whom Fraser also collaborated for his Millennium concerts around the turn of the century).
The cinematic Bluedusk is even more beautiful. Subdued and atmospheric starting with timpani, piano and heavenly vocals that are covered by a very nice warm electronic glow. With harp, bassoon and beautifully distorted guitar playing, the song is fascinating. Fraser sounds better than ever. A new classic.
The elongated Apple is just as understated and ridiculously beautiful. About Hackett’s beautiful guitar playing, Fraser sings her fascinating elastic melody lines more beautiful than you’ve ever heard them before. In the doubling of her voice, everything becomes even more beautiful. The improbable power of Cocteau Twins in the prime of her life with Reece as the musical architect and Hackett in a starring role.
Make Lovely The Day, again provided with beautiful acoustic guitar work, is the dream closing track of the brilliant B-side of the EP. Majestic how Fraser sings this song to eternity with her very beautifully matured voice. So bare, so touchingly beautiful. See him rise and make lovely the day.
Five tracks that we had to wait an eternity for. Five tracks that are now heart-filling optimally. An EP that can remain on the turntable forever and will not lose any of its emotional value even after spinning 1000x. Five of the most beautiful songs that you will certainly hear this year, but also for much longer.