Cocteau Twins / Snow

Cocteau Twins / <em>Snow</em>

Let’s kick of the last week before Christmas with the lowest-hanging of fruit for the season. In December 1993, just a couple months from releasing their major-label debut Four-Calendar Cafe, Cocteau Twins got into the festive spirit with Snow, a two-song EP comprised of covers of Christmas standards, albeit secular ones. A strange choice from a band known for being otherworldly, but bassist Simon Raymonde explained its genesis in notes on the band’s website discography:

“There’s a Christmas record that comes out on Capitol Records every few years, and they were trying to get all their bands to do a cover version of a Christmas song. I didn’t think that’s what it was at the time. I thought it would be like sitting next to Frank Sinatra. But in fact it would’ve been, y’know, Skinny Puppy, doing ‘Merry Xmas Everybody.’ Anyway they’d said, Would you do one? And Liz suggested—it must have been for a joke—‘Frosty The Snowman.’ Then Robin went, ‘Yeah, good title, people will think it’s a normal Cocteau Twins song with a title like that.’ Once we’d got the music down, I wrote down the lyrics on a piece of paper and said to Liz, ‘Hey, look at these,’ and we were laughing away. As we were going through it I was listening to Liz’s reactions and thinking this is never gonna get done. She was going, ”He’s a very happy soul’—me sing that?! No way, I could not in a million years… ‘with a broomstick in his ‘—you’ve gotta be fucking kidding!’ I just didn’t think she’d do it.”

Simon Raymonde

In addition to the CD single, the tracks were included in their 2005 b-sides and rarities compilation Lullabies To Violine, on the 2017 double-LP reissue of Four Calendar Cafe, and on the 2018 Fontana years compilation Treasure Hiding.

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