Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd - The Moon and the Melodies [LP] | RECORD STORE DAY
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The Moon and the Melodies is a singular record within the Cocteau Twins’ catalogue - unusually ethereal, even by their standards, and largely instrumental, guided by the free-form improvisations of Harold Budd, an ambient pioneer who had drifted into their orbit as if by divine intervention. Building on the atmospheric bliss of Victorialand, released earlier the same year, it signaled a possible future for the trio, yet it was a path they’d never take again. Now, almost forty years after it was first released, it’s being reissued on vinyl for the first time – remastered, from the original tapes, by Robin Guthrie himself. No-one involved can recall exactly how it came about. As Guthrie and Simon Raymonde remember it, the independent television station Channel 4 approached them about a film project pairing musicians from different genres. In interviews in the 1980s, however, Budd (who sadly passed away in 2020), believed his publisher linked them after the group had expressed interest in covering one of his songs. In any case, the film never happened. “But we’d spoken to Harold, and we were all quite excited about it,” Raymonde recalls. Convening in the band’s newly built recording studio, all four got on immediately and over a fortnight, made a quite astounding record.  The Moon and the Melodies has attracted a passionate fan base. Its most atmospheric tracks routinely turn up in ambient DJ sets. ‘Sea, Swallow Me’ is one of the Cocteau Twins’ most streamed songs on Spotify. Raymonde believes the record’s uniqueness stems from its unpremeditated origins. “It captured a moment in time between friends that are enjoying making music together. That’s the essence of it.”