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Elizabeth Fraser

Elizabeth FraserAKA Elizabeth Davidson Fraser

Born: 29-Aug-1963
Birthplace: Grangemouth, Falkirk, Scotland

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Singer

Nationality: Scotland
Executive summary: Vocalist for Cocteau Twins

Born and raised in the port town of Grangemouth, Elizabeth Fraser made her entrance into the music scene in 1981 alongside fellow Scots Robin Guthrie and Will Heggie in the band Cocteau Twins. The two aspiring musicians had come across Fraser two years earlier dancing in a local disco, and, acting under the assumption that dancing ability was an indication of vocal talent, badgered her for months to join up with them as a singer. Eventually, a demo tape was put together and shopped around, attracting the interest of both 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell and Radio 1 DJ John Peel: Ivo immediately signed the group to a record deal and Peel brought them in to record a four track radio session. By 1982 the Cocteaus' debut Garlands had hit the shelves, instigating pockets of rapturous enthusiasm that would gradually spread as their musical activity progressed.

Following the release of the EPs Lullabies and Peppermint Pig, Heggie decided to leave the band, leaving Fraser and Guthrie (now romantically involved) to create a third EP and a second full-length -- Sunburst and Snowblind and Head Over Heels, respectively -- as a duo. Interest in the band continued to gain momentum, fueled in main by the fascinating interplay of Fraser's layered phonetic vocalizations, supported by the atmospheres created through Guthrie's inventive guitar textures. Shortly after the release of Heels, Watts-Russell enlisted the pair to contribute to his 4AD "house band" This Mortal Coil, during which time the Cocteaus expanded to a trio once again with the addition of former Drowning Craze bassist Simon Raymonde. By 1984 the new line-up had given birth to another EP (The Spangle Maker) and a fourth album (Treasure), both elevating the band to a higher level of critical and commercial success.

Throughout the 80s and early 90s Elizabeth Fraser maintained a fairly consistent output with the Cocteaus, as well as making a number of guest appearances on the records of other bands such as Dif Juz, The Wolfgang Press, Felt, Fuel, The Future Sound of London, and solo albums by Ian McCulloch. The 1988 album Blue Bell Knoll and its associated single Carolyn's Fingers resulted in yet another broadening of the band's following, and a leap from 4AD to Fontana in 1994 brought with it a major label profile -- but this, predictably, only served to guarantee the Cocteau Twins' demise. Tours during this period featured a supporting cast of several additional guitarists, brought on board to better reproduce the extensive sonic layering featured on the records. The audience for the band remained as dedicated as ever, but mounting internal pressures, having already fractured their personal relationship, brought Fraser and Guthrie's musical partnership to an end by 1996, in the midst of the recording of their ninth full-length effort.

Since the dissolution of the Cocteau Twins, Fraser has kept a fairly low public profile. Vocal contributions have been made to a handful of other artists' releases: Craig Armstrong's The Space Between Us (1998), Massive Attack's Mezzanine (1998), and Peter Gabriel's OVO, as well as work on the soundtrack for Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Rumors of a solo album "in preparation" persist, but only an extremely limited (200 copies) vinyl release titled Underwater has materialized.

Boyfriend: Robin Guthrie (musician)
Daughter: Lucy Belle Guthrie
Boyfriend: Mark Clifford (musician)
Boyfriend: Damon Reece (musician)
Daughter: Lily

    Cocteau Twins Vocalist (1981-96)
    This Mortal Coil Vocalist (1983-84)

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