Day 3 of 365 Days of Music’s song choice is “Know Who You Are At Every Age” by Cocteau Twins, from their 1991 album, Four-Calendar Cafe.
Four-Calendar Cafe is one of a handful…armful…both armfuls of albums from the early ’90s that became part of my twenty-something soundtrack. Music that was so much a part of my life at the time that I literally breathed it. This song, and album, still mean the world to me, and with every listen so many memories are replayed in my head and heart, and new ones are forming to each play, as well.
“Cry, cry, cry ’til you know why, I lost myself, identify.
Cry, cry, cry ’til you know why, I lost myself, identify.”
The first time I heard Elizabeth Fraser’s unique voice was in the early ’80s while lying on the floor of a friend’s bedroom flipping through pages of Star Hits. I remember that it made me pause my latest search for Duran Duran pin-ups and ask “who is this?” From that point on I was hooked on the Cocteau Twins, and fascinated by Elizabeth’s ethereal voice.
In 1992, my first child was born. Julia. One of the two middle names we gave her was Elizabeth, named after Fraser, as she was her father and my favorite singer at the time we met.
I saw the Cocteau Twins play live a few years after the release of Four-Calendar Cafe.
I remember sitting towards the back of the Wiltern theatre feeling the music swirl around a friend I’d had a falling out with, and I. The concert had been planned before we’d had issues between us, and for one night acted as a truce, or reprieve, from grievances.
As this song began, we held hands and held our breath; we were both so swept up in the sound. This song still reminds me of her small hands and the way she always smelled of cloves and peppermint candies.
Music soothed a lot of the sting that developed between us. In those moments where we let ourselves just get wrapped up in the melodies, we were beautiful together.