LONG PLAYER OF THE DAY: Cocteau Twins, ‘Head Over Heels’ / ‘Snowburst and Snowblind’

Cocteau Twins Head The Details: Cocteau Twins, Head Over Heels / Sunburst and Snowblind (Vinyl 180 reissue, 2010)

The Reason(s) We Can’t Stop Listening: When people talk about the transformative power of heavyweight vinyl reissues, they’re referring to records like this–a double pack pressing of Cocteau Twins’ second album and its followup EP, Snowburst and Snowblind. With bassist Will Heggie no longer by their side, singer Elizabeth Fraser and resident sound sculptor Robin Guthrie dive right into their first recordings as a duo. Their effortless chemistry produces endless shades of pedal-pushing dream-pop, enough to serve as a primer for the entire Cocteau Twins catalog. Considering how crucial they are to melancholic strains of gothic/shoegaze music, this is certainly saying something.


Some highlights in an LP that’s bursting at the grooves with dovetailing details: the horror score backdrop of “When Mama Was Moth,” the glassy waltz of “Sugar Hiccup,” and the cloud-scraping cacophony of “”Musette and Dreams.” Dropping your turntable needle on any one of these songs will do the trick if you’re a sucker for histrionic hooks, though.

As for how Snowburst and Snowblind fits into this package, it’s a four-track slab of violet vinyl that’s set to engulf your speakers at 45 RPM. While an alternate take of “Sugar Hiccup” pushes Guthrie’s zero gravity effects to the fore alongside Fraser’s moon walk melodies, “Because of Whirl-Jack” wraps things up by sprinting off into the sunset and proving just how powerful the Twins can be, even when it’s just the two of ’em.