Reissued 2018, originally released 1986
The inspiration of Ivo Watts-Russell, This Mortal Coil emerged in the early-80s when the post-punk scene was splintering in exciting new ways and Ivo's then-fledgling record label 4AD was in the thick of it all. This Mortal Coil were not a band per se, never performing live, rather a collaboration of musicians, with both Ivo and co-producer John Fryer the only constants while the cast rotated. Released two years after their debut, Filigree & Shadow (1986) was no less ornate than it's predecessor. It was a double LP with no defined breaks between tracks so each of it's four sides became a self-contained unit. The core expanded to add Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins) and arranger Martin McCarrick, backing (with the help of members of Dif Juz and The Wolfgang Press) a variety of new singers Ivo handpicked including Alison Limerick, Dominic Appleton (Breathless), sisters Deirdre and Louise Rutkowski, Caroline Seaman (Heavenly Bodies) and Richenel. An intense record, The Quietus called it "tortured yet oddly euphoric... (music which) could easily rip flimsy souls apart."