After the release of the Blood Speaks album by Smoke Fairies in 2012, the anticipation for the next album by the pair (Jessica Davies, Katherine Blamire), has been at an all-time high. In March of 2014, the duo pre-released a single from their then upcoming album, the self-titled Smoke Fairies. The song, “Eclipse Them All” revealed a strength in song-craft that was a little different from anything they have previously done.
Smoke Fairies have an underlying element of blues, rock, and sometimes a little bit of ’60s-styled folk, all carried on their able engine of contemporary Folk music. With two albums now firmly within their growing catalog, they provide a new one with splendid results. In my review of Blood Speaks (2012), I ended with a belief that their next album of music would be more excellent than the already excellent subject. Now that their eponymous album is released, that prophetic line has validity to it.
Smoke Fairies (the album) contains twelve songs of varying styles. Their evolution as a vocal band has grown exponentially with a noticeable grand essence in the music. Each song feels like old friends before they’re finished. “We’ve Seen Birds”, the album’s brilliant opener hints immediately at the musical road map you’re about to follow (see video below). It’s followed by the pair’s most effective Pop offering, “Eclipse Them All”. “Want It Forever” also becomes a delightful Pop offering.
The duo’s affinity for psychedelia emerges on their “Shadow Inversions” song. “Waiting For Something To Begin” dips its feet into a fairy pool of haunting melodies with gorgeous harmonizing that demands a replay right away. “Misty Versions” is a bluesy tune with a rock and roll heart. Even so, with all the musical venturing outside the gates, their love for pure Folk is well represented in many of the tunes here.
The album is a blend of styles that lets us know that we have a growing band, one that we can follow, anticipate, and be pleased as every album comes to the marketplace. The new Smoke Fairies album is a great album, easily the better of any previous by them. And that’s saying a hell of a lot.
By visiting their website (link below), you can download a song (“Strange Moon Rising”) from their 2010 album, Through Low Light And Trees, for free by joining their email list.
Feel free to buy Smoke Fairies without thinking. It’s near perfection.
Release Date: May 19, 2014
Label: 10 Spot
Availability: CD, DD, LP