vəˈräɡō/: a woman of strength or spirit; a female warrior.

Cocteau Twins: Cherry-Coloured Funk

The first time I heard the Cocteau Twins, I was sitting in a convenience store parking lot smoking a marlboro red. I was wearing all black and harboring a deep, dark crush on some emotionally unavailable, goth kid. Liz Fraser’s voice on Heaven or Las Vegas plunged into my heart and every care melted away. It was sad, hopeful and crushing all it once.  It stripped me down. My senses gave way to the dreamy timbre. It was also my first foray into what was essentially electronic music.

Fraser’s darting blue eyes, those harmonies and that slow dive put me back together. The Friday night clamor to the club was soothed to a quiet hush as I waited for my friend to come out of the store. These were the days when you could still look like a normal person and be featured on MTV. Thank God for youtube, but as I’m writing this, I’m missing 120 minutes. Bless you, Matt Pinfield. You gave us misfits a voice on Sunday night. I’d watch every week from my parent’s musty basement. I wasn’t sure where the people on 120 minutes lived, but they sure didn’t live in my town. I longed for this tribe. I would have to wait until college to find them, but I did eventually find them.

Singing of a famous street
I want to love, I’ve all the wrong glory
But is it Heaven or Las Vegas?
But you’re much more brighter than the sun is to me

Guthrie, Heggie and Raymonde and that deep, pining bass and soaring guitars. Music to my ears.  And the visuals. Fraser strolling through gothic churches, superimposed with Scottish lakes. Someone put words and sounds to the isolated feeling we were all experiencing.

The Sundays: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic came out the same year as Heaven or Las Vegas. My brother handed me the cassette and it traveled with me to college along with PJ Harvey’s Dry and My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. It all made sense.

Close my eyes
Feel me now
I don’t know how you could not love me now
You will know, with her feet down to the ground
Over there, and I want true love to grow
You can’t hide, oh no, from the way I feel

The Sundays “My Finest Hour” remains one of my favorite songs to date. I’m sure my mother got sick of hearing the high-pitch croon of Harriet Wheeler, but I didn’t care. I played that album over and over and over again.

I could write a novel about shoe-gaze and that entire post-punk era where we were all kind of slow-diving; a bit lost socially and politically, not much unlike today. I suppose that’s why music is such a constant. I guess that’s why we find our tribes and why I can’t even remember the name of the guy I had a crush on that night. All I know is that when I find my soul-mate, we’re going to fall in love to Lorelei.

Check out this great playlist and have an amazing weekend. Be yourself. Always. xoxo.

About Kristen Demesilda

Kristen Demesilda
Writer and Photographer for Virago Magazine, Kristen grew up listening to vinyl and highlighting the dictionary. Her work has appeared in IrockJazz.com, The East Harlem Journal, Boston's Culturehive, the Ithacan and other publications. Her love of music cannot be eclipsed by her love of words. She's been coined the "Akira Kurosawa of Blogs" by such people as herself. An aspiring musician, she has a serious penchant for peach-flavored anything, multi-tasking, slow-paced thrillers and dreams of going back to South America, laying on the beach, and drinking from a coconut.
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