27 Songs, 1 Hour 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The last three years of The Cocteau Twins’ existence were the most painful of the three group members’ lives, but that didn’t prevent them from making some of the most gorgeous music of their career. The band only released two full-lengths during that period, but Lullabies to Violaine, Vol. 2 rescues the numerous songs that had been relegated to B-sides and EP releases. This music is just as important as the songs that made the official albums. “Three-Swept” and “Ice-Pulse” were released on the backside of the hit single “Bluebeard,” and here they feel like haunting, icy echoes of that song’s soaring atmosphere. The end of the band’s career touched on their most hypnotically foreboding works—see “Seekers Who Are Lovers”—but also offered their most forthright and poignant performances. The slow, snaking rhythms of “Primitive Heart,” “Flock of Soul,” and “Round” mirror the lurking presence of narcotic addiction, but even in the haze, vocalist Elizabeth Fraser appears like a guardian angel. Longtime fans may read the final two songs—“Circling Girl” and the gossamer “Alice”—as the band’s great finale.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The last three years of The Cocteau Twins’ existence were the most painful of the three group members’ lives, but that didn’t prevent them from making some of the most gorgeous music of their career. The band only released two full-lengths during that period, but Lullabies to Violaine, Vol. 2 rescues the numerous songs that had been relegated to B-sides and EP releases. This music is just as important as the songs that made the official albums. “Three-Swept” and “Ice-Pulse” were released on the backside of the hit single “Bluebeard,” and here they feel like haunting, icy echoes of that song’s soaring atmosphere. The end of the band’s career touched on their most hypnotically foreboding works—see “Seekers Who Are Lovers”—but also offered their most forthright and poignant performances. The slow, snaking rhythms of “Primitive Heart,” “Flock of Soul,” and “Round” mirror the lurking presence of narcotic addiction, but even in the haze, vocalist Elizabeth Fraser appears like a guardian angel. Longtime fans may read the final two songs—“Circling Girl” and the gossamer “Alice”—as the band’s great finale.

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