Sun’s Signature is the current project of Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) and her life and musical partner Damon Reece (Spiritualized, Massive Attack, Lupine Howl). This five song EP marks Fraser’s first piece of new music in thirteen years, though these songs have been ruminating in the background of Elizabeth and Damon’s lives in some form for twenty plus years. The spark to the development of Sun’s Signature happened when ANOHNI invited the couple to be the centre piece of her celebrated curation of the Meltdown Festival at The Royal Festival Hall in 2012.
This extended play opens with `Underwater` and begins with a musical box sound effect and Elizabeth`s ethereal vocals. It then has a kind of gliding or swimming like sensation before almost breaking through the surface and is led by a quite prominent bassline with flowing synth swatches. It becomes delightfully dreamy and reflective as it evolves. The lyrics seem to hint at the recognition of growing older but seemingly without fear just acceptance. A wonderful introduction. We have a further thoughtful introspective piece with `Golden Air` which seems to awake quietly, canter along shining brightly throughout and fade gently as in the life cycle of a day. Indigo is mentioned which maybe the colour that is used in New Age philosophy to symbolically represent the sixth chakra (called Ajna), which is said to include the third eye. This chakra is believed to be related to intuition and gnosis (spiritual knowledge). But I may well be trying to read something that may not be there.
`Blue Dusk` is quite hypnotic and mesmeric. Throughout its existence it had what to me sounded like kettle drums and a clarinet adding to the overall poignancy of the track. The vocals seem to float in and around the accompanying music and sounded almost ghostlike or otherworldly at times. A spiritual lullaby quite possibly although it also had a cinematic quality. I found `Apples` to be the closest to what the Cocteau Twins used to produce, a quite dreamlike soundscape with some deliciously intricate guitar chords sprinkled throughout. A quite spellbinding offering.
`Make Lovely The Day` closes out this release and it`s a stripped back affair with a strummed Spanish guitar and vocals that allow the poetic lyrics to shine via Elizabeth`s charming vocal annunciation.
There was much to delight in with The Sun’s Signature` which re-confirmed, if ever we needed, that Elizabeth Fraser still retains a stunning vocal range and it`s a great loss hat we haven`t been able to enjoy the fruits of her gift apart from the occasional guest appearance on other artist`s labours. Hopefully, this may be the spur for her and Damon Reece to produce more of the same or similar, we can only hope.
A number of talented musicians contributed to this release with Thighpaulsandra (Timothy Lewis) (keyboards), Sean Cook (bass), Martin Shellard (guitar), Steve Hackett (Spanish and electric guitar) and Alex Lee (guitar).
This extended play runs at just under thirty minutes and will take you too another dimension if you allow it the time.
I`d encourage you to do so.