This Mortal Coil

Filigree And Shadow (1986) is the greatest of the three albums This Mortal Coil recorded. It captures Ivo and company at their most imaginative: a seamless 74 minutes of surreal, gothic-flavoured songs and instrumentals shrouded in a seductive ambient fog. Brooding and fragile, the individual pieces are strung together with an unsettling, dream-like logic.

artist:
This Mortal Coil

country of origin:
UK

style(s):
Gothic pop, ambient pop, art rock

decades active:
80's - 90's

essential releases:

  • Filigree And Shadow (1986, 4AD Records)

Reviewed by Mike G

British band This Mortal Coil was actually a changeable line-up of musicians; an art rock supergroup of sorts masterminded by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of alternative pop-rock label 4AD Records. The label’s offerings in its 80's and 90's heyday were extremely eclectic and its best known artist The Cocteau Twins produced some very fine ambient pop albums. The music of This Mortal Coil is sometimes wordless or purely instrumental, and casts an ethereal spell that recalls the ambient pop records of Brian Eno and the moody songs of 4AD stablemates Dead Can Dance.

Filigree And Shadow (1986) is the greatest of the three albums This Mortal Coil recorded. It captures Ivo and company at their most imaginative: a seamless 74 minutes of surreal, gothic-flavoured songs and instrumentals shrouded in a seductive ambient fog. Brooding and fragile, the individual pieces are strung together with an unsettling, dream-like logic. Featured instruments include synthesisers, piano, saxophone and sound effects, and a string quartet lends the music a distinctively English ambience. Drums and electric guitar also make an appearance, though not at the expense of the album’s introspective mood. This is a classic, one-of-a-kind ambient pop release.

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