Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Fraser’

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The prodigiously talented Jeff Buckley only made one studio album, 1994’s Grace, before his accidental drowning in the Mississippi River in 1997, but his estate has continued to release a wealth of posthumous material. These range from top notch material like the drafts for his second album, released as Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, as well as great songs like ‘Forget Her’, a Grace outtake, but his clearing of the decks has also felt like it’s scraping the bottom of the barrel with releases like Grace Around the World.

But despite all the archival activity, one fascinating song by Buckley remains in the archive – collaborator Elizabeth Fraser has dismissed the song as “unfinished, you see. I don’t want it to be heard.” Fraser, the lead singer of the Cocteau Twins, previously recorded a version of Tim Buckley’s ‘Song to the Siren’ in the mid 1980s. She was in a relationship with Jeff Buckley in the mid 1990s, and they sang together on ‘All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun’. Even if it’s unvarnished, with Fraser and Buckley only accompanied by an acoustic guitar, it’s still enthralling – two unique, spectacular voices in an unlikely pairing.

Fraser struck up an intense relationship with Jeff Buckley after they became infatuated with each other’s voices. Again, emotion produced music. This sublime duet they recorded called All Flowers in Time Bend Towards the Sun is around the internet, to her irritation.

“Why do people have to hear everything?” she complains. I tell her it’s wonderful. “But it’s unfinished, you see. I don’t want it to be heard.” There’s a pause. “Maybe I won’t always think that.”

Buckley died in 1997, by which time they had lost touch – Fraser had grown frustrated with his constant touring, a reaction that weighs heavily on her. “I just wish I’d been more of a friend,” she says, softly. “His career was everything to him, and I wish I had been more understanding – happy with a different kind of relationship. I missed out on something there, and it was my fault.”

The news that Buckley had disappeared – he drowned, swimming in the Wolf river in Memphis – came while Fraser was recording Teardrop with Massive Attack. “That was so weird,” she says. “I’d got letters out and I was thinking about him. That song’s kind of about him – that’s how it feels to me anyway.” It seems she is haunted by guilt: for not being there for Buckley, for everything. As she puts it: “I need to forgive myself.”

Unreleased (unfinished) acoustic track by Jeff Buckley and Elizabeth Fraser. Recorded sometime around 1995-1996.

Thanks APHORISTICAL for this article

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Anyone who’s been living on the grapevine these past few years must have heard the rumours about the coming of the FELT reissues – well they’re here.

Felt was a 1980s UK indie band hailing from Birmingham, led by enigmatic Lawrence Hayward (or, just Lawrence for preference), and usually included guitarist Maurice Deebank. The band claimed to have released ten albums and ten singles in ten years but actually released 11 singles if you include their debut Index on Shanghai Packaging. They were influenced by, among others, New York band Television and 60s icon Bob Dylan.

Forming in 1979, Felt never broke through to the mainstream, but enjoyed a substantial cult following. Throughout the early 1980s, Felt released a number of oblique, minimalistic guitar pop gems. In 1986 they broke through with the single Primitive Painters (featuring the Cocteau Twins Elizabeth Fraser), and the album Forever Breathes The Lonely Word. Here, Haywards trademark melodic songs are matched by a fuller sound – catchy organ lines from Martin Duffy (now with Primal Scream) and Deebanks cascading guitars feature throughout. Following this, releases in 1987 of Poem Of The River, in 1988 of The Pictorial Jackson Review, and in 1989 of Me And A Monkey On The Moon, cemented Felts cult following and reputation, before Hayward split the band up to pursue 70s-influenced project, Denim, and subsequently Go-Kart Mozart. Felts influence continues to reverberate in the music of current bands.

These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve. During the ‘80s Felt made ten albums and ten singles for the Cherry Red and Creation labels. This beautifully produced series examines the work of one of the greatest underground groups of modern times.

The first five albums will be released on 23rd October 2018. These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve.

Produced by Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins and featuring the skyscraping vocal of Elizabeth Fraser on the mighty track “Primitive Painters”. Felt found themselves at the top of the independent charts. Unhappy with the overall sound though – it was as if some of Lawrence’s best songs were lost in an “ethereal swirl.” John A. Rivers has been given access to the original master tapes and six songs have remixed. Also – side 2 has been focused, edited and “made symmetrical.” Finally these songs can be heard as intended by Felt. It has become at long last a cohesive whole.