Scottish trio Cocteau Twins are often credited for helping to pioneer the shoegaze genre in the late 80’s, with Robin Guthrie’s swirling guitar haze and Elizabeth Fraser’s ethereal vocals standing out as the group’s most notable and influential features. Their music stands on its own, though, and would be essential even if it didn’t partially catalyze the 90’s boom for my favorite genre of music. There’s never been a singer quite like Fraser, whose operatic ululations give the group’s sound a unique edge not present in most “dreamy” music. “A Kissed Out Red Floatboat,” from 1988’s Blue Bell Knoll, manages to sound both sublime and heartbreaking at the same time. Fraser trills out some abstract impressionist lyrics, which only serve to keep the tone ambiguous. A truly beautiful song; I listened to this one today in Erie while driving with the windows down and the sun out, on the way to get a gourmet hot dog. It made the journey feel like heaven. The hot dog didn’t hurt, either.