Love's Easy Tears - 1986

Love's Easy Tears Love's Easy Tears
Those Eyes, That Mouth
Sigh's Smell Of Farewell
Orange Appled

This is the last EP the Cocteaus were to release before they went into retreat to create Blue Bell Knoll. It should therefore come as no surprise that we find some early evidence of things to follow. In particular the title track features a sound much louder than for instance on Victorialand. The original 12" contained just the first three tracks, Orange Appled was added on the CD-release.

The entire Love's Easy Tears EP was later also included in both The Box Set and the Lullabies To Violaine compilation.

Love's Easy Tears

Love's Easy Tears may have been released just briefly after the Victorialand album, the song could hardly have been any more different from those acoustic efforts.

Things start out naturally enough, with a fairly typical if rather loud Cocteau guitar and Liz singing with great conviction. Soon though the chorus arrives, the volume level is cranked up and it all becomes quite an overwhelming experience. Liz is having to work really hard to stay audible and especially in the latter parts her voice almost drowns in the massive wall of sound built mostly from guitars and simulated background choirs.

The band had occasionally recorded loud and dramatic tracks before (Lorelei is an another example), so Love's Easy Tears isn't entirely unique in its approach. Still, the great strengths of the Cocteau Twins throughout their career were usually subtle rhythms and melodic beauty rather than blunt volume, and the song indeed isn't quite as convincing as most of their other work. They may well have realized that themselves - on their next albums they gradually took to writing ever softer songs, and not until they recorded an epic song like Violaine would they try to reach volume levels like these again.

Those Eyes, That Mouth

In the mid-eighties the Cocteau Twins were drifting from one style to another between successive EP-releases. It should therefore come as no surprise that we are occasionally presented a track that sounds like it really belongs on another EP. And so on Love's Easy Tears, accompanying the heavy experience of its title track in Those Eyes, That Mouth we find a surprisingly light tune that is clearly much more related to the material on Tiny Dynamine.

A delightful guitar riff immediately sets the scene for a lively piece of music, and Liz' unusual staccato type of singing does everything to enforce this impression. We are next treated to a marvellous vocal overdub in the second verse, and at this point it is hard to see how the band could possibly create an interesting end to this song having shown so much acrobatics already.

A subtle change of key starts off the last phase though, and it is here that we can see the tune really was written in this era. A wall of sound effect provides a fitting end as Liz waves us farewell with a few more vocal fantasies as only she can conjure up so magically.

Those Eyes, That Mouth was apparently never performed live, and only appears on this EP. It is therefore probably one of the least known tracks of the band's repertoire. Which only shows there's often a poor relationship between fame and quality.

Sigh's Smell Of Farewell

As so many songs in the Cocteau repertoire Sigh's Smell Of Farewell starts out beautifully. But the composition changes sharply midway through and ends much more dynamically.

Peaceful elements abound in the first half of the song. Thoughts of Christmas are easily brought up by the beautiful melody and Liz' angelic voice, and then there are some elements of the background melody that (intentionally?) are a bit reminiscent of 'Silent Night'. The background vocals - simple as they are - are noteworthy as well. Their touch of naivety further emphasize the impression of fragility and innocence.

But just when the song seems to reach perfection in harmony it changes dramatically. A much firmer guitar and louder vocals take over, and guide us towards the end without much further ado.

Sigh's Smell Of Farewell is a song of two halves really - an enchantingly beautiful first half and a more energetic second half. Somehow the two came together - but many may feel the combination didn't quite manage to come out in perfect harmony.

Orange Appled

The most striking feature of Orange Appled are easily the chimes, which are being played during every chorus throughout the song. This makes the song a bit reminiscent of Band Aid's Do They Know it's Christmas?, number one in every chart by the end of 1984, and featuring chimes very prominently as well.

Be that as it may, the track is a pretty good indicator of the band's musical directions at the time. Many instruments, woven together into a tapestry of sound, work together to create what could easily have become a rather heavy sounding track. Actually the first part of the song, up to the second chorus, does sound pretty heavy, and it's the chimes that succeed in making it all really interesting.

At that point though the best part is yet to come. It is introduced when Liz rather unexpectedly changes the entire character of the song by contributing some lighthearted, almost trivial vocals. Next there is a sudden change of key, and a beautiful instrumental bit featuring in particular a few fantastic chords on an acoustic guitar.

After that there is just the chorus to reach a fitting end to a song which although rather brief still manages to supply quite a few fascinating moments.