Victorialand is the fourth studio album by the Scottish alternative rock band Cocteau Twins, released by 4AD in April 1986. Working without member Simon Raymonde, who had been enlisted to collaborate on This Mortal Coil's Filigree & Shadow album, vocalist Elizabeth Fraser and guitarist/producer Robin Guthrie produced a record almost completely devoid of percussion, drenching acoustic guitars in reverberant space to create a wide, expansive sound that bordered on ambient.

Studio album by
Released14 April 1986
ProducerCocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins chronology
The Pink Opaque
Love's Easy Tears
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Martin C. Strong(8/10)[2]


The album title refers to the part of Antarctica known as Victoria Land, after Queen Victoria (and forming the British claim to the continent, currently dormant under international treaty). As is often the case with Fraser's vocals, the lyrics are indecipherable.[3] Some of the track titles were borrowed from passages on the Arctic and Antarctic in David Attenborough's The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth, the accompanying book to his 1984 BBC nature documentary series The Living Planet, for example "Throughout the dark months of April and May, the birds display to one another and finally mate" on page 54.[4]

On its initial release in the UK, the vinyl edition was a 12" disc which played at 45 rpm, which would be normal for an EP rather than a full album, which would normally play at 33⅓ rpm. This was due to difficulties in the mastering process in reproducing the minimal soundscapes. Some test pressings at 33⅓ rpm are known to exist.

An uncredited instrumental version of "Oomingmak" was used as a backing track for the credits at the end of the 4AD compilation video for Lonely Is an Eyesore. This instrumental version was later made available on the band's 1991 4AD singles box set.

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie.

  1. "Lazy Calm" – 6:36
  2. "Fluffy Tufts" – 3:07
  3. "Throughout the Dark Months of April and May" – 3:05
  4. "Whales Tails" – 3:18
  5. "Oomingmak" – 2:43
  6. "Little Spacey" – 3:28
  7. "Feet-Like Fins" – 3:27
  8. "How to Bring a Blush to the Snow" – 3:52
  9. "The Thinner the Air" – 3:16


Additional personnel


One critic described the album as ethereal and resembling "early Gong space-rock with much of the stuffing left out".[3]


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Victorialand – Cocteau Twins". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  2. ^ "[Unknown title]". The Essential Rock Discography - Volume 1: 222. 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Zebora, Jim (15 June 1986). "BoDeans' rock mix lacks spark". Record-Journal. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  4. ^ Attenborough, David (1984). "The Frozen World". The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth (1 ed.). Little, Brown & Company. pp. 39–66. ISBN 0316057487.