After a Very Dark Year, Cocteau Twins’ ‘Winter Wonderland’ Will Brighten Your Holiday Season


If you haven’t followed the enigmatic saga of the Cocteau Twins since their astonishing 1982 debut Garlands, it’s perhaps a bit hard to grasp the monumental gravity of the news that Elizabeth Fraser will join Massive Attack onstage during their spring 2019 tour – which will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of their landmark 1998 album Mezzanine.

But stepping back from that particular exhilaration, the occasion of Christmas Eve after such a trying, harrowing year – at home and across the globe – seems perfectly right to revisit the Cocteaus’ somewhat obscure 1993 Snow EP, for which they uncharacteristically covered a pair of very familiar holiday classics: “Winter Wonderland” and “Frosty the Snowman.” The latter gets a fairly and charmingly straight up treatment, considering their penchant for hallucinatory atmospherics. But it’s the update of the former that yet manages to decisively warm our winterized – and slightly hardened – hearts 25 years later.



Indeed, Ms. Fraser still enchants with her ethereal, but perhaps slightly-less-fantastical-than-usual vocal performance; while Robyn Guthrie and Simon Raymonde escort the snowy standard benevolently into their dreamlike aesthetic universe.

And as Elizabeth lilts, “Later on, we’ll conspire / As we dream by the fire / To face unafraid, the plans that we’ve made / Walking in a winter wonderland,” you just might let yourself believe everything is going to be okay.

A Merry Christmas to you and yours.





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