Cocteau Twins – The Moon and the Melodies

Published on 14 March 2019 by

Cocteau Twins – The Moon and the Melodies

      Cocteau Twins – The Moon and the Melodies (1986) is the product of a one-off collaboration between the Scottish group Cocteau Twins and the American composer Harold Budd. The album has the characteristic style — heavily-treated guitar sounds and euphoric vocalising — that can be heard in the group’s other work from the same period, for example on the EP “Echoes in a Shallow Bay” or the album Victorialand. Harold Budd’s stylistic piano tonalities and phrasing on this project are echoed in his solo album, Lovely Thunder, from the same year.
The phrases “bloody and blunt” and “ooze out and away, onehow” come from Elizabeth Fraser’s lyrics on the songs “The Tinderbox (Of a Heart)” and “My Love Paramour”, both from the 1983 Cocteau Twins album Head Over Heels. Reusing phrases from old songs as titles for others can be considered one of Fraser’s signature characteristics, as can her habit of emphasizing syllables in ways that differ from standard usage.

      AMG Review: The Moon and the Melodies is a collaboration between the Cocteau Twins and keyboardist/composer Harold Budd that fits soundly between the stylistic signatures of the two, both of whom make organic music that relies heavily on electronics. Budd’s use of spacious treated piano and keyboard sounds (influenced by a previous collaborator, Brian Eno) combines with the Cocteau Twins’ shimmering waves of guitars and Elizabeth Fraser’s layered wordless vocals to create what amounts to a soundtrack to a dream about sleeping, with saxophones courtesy of Richard Thomas (of the now defunct Dif Juz) breathing further life into the music. Too bland to be the best introduction to the music of either, but a welcome addition to the collections of fans of both.

“We never wanted it to be a Cocteau Twins album,” continues Simon. “We even went to great lengths not to use the band name. We just listed all of our names individually. Everyone made a big deal out of it. Everyone had this idea that it was a really serious album. It wasn’t. It was just something we wanted to do.”—Simon Raymonde



Cocteau Twins – The Moon and the Melodies Tracklist

  1. Sea, Swallow Me – 3:09
  2. Memory Gongs – 7:27
  3. Why Do You Love Me? – 4:51
  4. Eyes Are Mosaics – 4:09
  5. She Will Destroy You – 4:17
  6. The Ghost Has No Home – 7:35
  7. Bloody and Blunt – 2:13
  8. Ooze Out and Away, Onehow – 3:39



  • Harold Budd
  • Elizabeth Fraser
  • Robin Guthrie
  • Simon Raymonde

Cocteau Twins - The Moon and the Melodies

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