Hummer: This Mortal Coil's "Song to the Siren"
By Noah Michelson
Last November I went for a drink with a guy who turned out to be nuttier than a Saturday night Chippendales performance. Exactly how bonkers was he, you ask? So crazy that ten minutes into our date he told me that he goes to see a "therapist" twice a week who enters into a trance and connects with an alien being from another dimension who helps him work out his issues with his father. Trying to change the subject, I brought up Obama and said that I was worried someone might try to assassinate him. My date looked at me as though I had just said the dumbest thing in the world, smiled, and said, "Don't worry. He has protection." I responded, "Oh. I know, but Secret Service can only be in so many places..." before -- I kid you not -- he cut me off saying, "No. I mean special protection. From another universe," and pointed up towards the sky with a dreamy, carefree look on his face.
Once again trying to change the subject (I know, I know, I should have chugged my vodka & soda and split but something about the intensity of his vast and inexhaustible insanity was kind of hot -- and he had dimples!) we started talking about music and I revealed that Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil is one of my favorite singers ever. I mentioned that it sounds like she's not singing in English (she is) but that her vocals are so pure the emotion registers even though you often have no clue what she's saying. My date responded, "Oh, she's not singing in English. That's actually an alien language. She's channeling a member of an alien civilization and her singing builds a bridge to us here on earth. She's an interstellar ambassador."
Crazy as he was, I kind of like the idea of Elizabeth Fraser as a galactic diplomatic. And on rainy days like today there's no one I'd rather be listening to. If you haven't heard "Song to the Siren" (a Tim Buckley cover she did with This Mortal Coil), get ready to have your mind blown. It's gorgeous. And haunting. And -- dare I say it -- otherworldly.
-- NOAH MICHELSON
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