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Smoke Fairies

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

Price: £9.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 April 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Full Time Hobby
  • ASIN: B00I0IL2SI
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,260 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

In the six years since Smoke Fairies’ Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies first entered a recording studio they have made two critically acclaimed albums, supported on tours with Bryan Ferry, Richard Hawley and Laura Marling, and had a single released on Jack White’s Third Man Records, but for all the perceived glamour of a musical career, they were still sharing a house in Peckham and waiting for something to happen while they worked temp jobs around London.

However, with the question now raised, Smoke Fairies were able to really take stock and reassess what the band truly meant to them. “We realised that this is our life,” says Davies. “And we just have to see it as this wonderful thing, every gig we get to play and every record we get to make - we’re just incredibly grateful for that.” Smoke Fairies yearned for movement and forward momentum. They wanted to make an album that wasn’t simply recorded live, but rather presented songs that were pored over, puzzled-out, polished and produced. “We wanted to feel that we had dissected everything back to its basic bones,” says Davies, “and then for every song to kind of shimmer.”

The result is a remarkable set of songs, notable not only for their strength and robustness, but also a sense of experimentation. The sheer liberation Blamire and Davies felt at using synths for the first time is evident in tracks such as the irresistible ‘Your Own Silent Movie’ and the beautifully compelling ‘Drinks And Dancing’. Davies and Blamire’s sublime voices still stand to the fore, and tracks like ‘Want It Forever’ are lined with a deliciously bluesy skuzzyness. This may not be the sort of album you ever expected Smoke Fairies to make, but it is an extraordinary record - bracing, sensual and defiant - and one that promises an exciting musical future.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I loved their first offering - also called Smoke Fairies (in a brown sleeve) but they lost me with Strange the Things (think I'll give it another go now) and I've only recently come back through the assertive Blood Speaks. I really love what they've done with this album though, lyrics, instrumentation and harmonies all stripped back to the pure essence of Smoke Fairies. The thing with the two separate voices really works and the whole thing is spooky and beautiful. I really hope (but doubt) that this will bring them the financial success they need to continue. And I'm intrigued as to what pop songs they listened to on the bus to inspire this sound.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I wish I had the Smoke Fairies' gift for words to say how wonderful this album is.

I loved their earlier efforts, and at first hearing, I must admit I was a bit sceptical, but repeated playing has won me over. Again.

I read somewhere that it's written by Davies as an apology to Blamire for her temporary loss of heart, and there's a distinct sense of re-pledged optimism throughout, but I can't help feeling there's more to it than this. Opener ‘We’ve Seen Birds’ feels spontaneous and upbeat, with husky voices swooping over brassy drum beats and strident keys - check out the lovely, cheerfully symbolic video in which the boiler-suited friends build a giant bird together, haul it up the Downs and watch it soar. Album highlight ‘Eclipse Them All’ follows: a really gorgeous thing of undulating darkness, proof of what a distinctively musky mood they can create with just a synth drone and little shivers of guitar. Wow: one of the most seductive things I’ve ever heard. Soothing, swirly, stylishly scuzzy and invariably murky, some tracks seem to drive stoically through bleak beauty (‘Shadow Inversions’) or dissolve into psychedelic Lennon/McCartneyesque melancholy (‘Koto’), or simply be gently hypnotic ('Your Own Silent Movie'), but you'll want to hear them again and again in case you've missed something, and you usually have. Rich, sophisticated, adult lyrics, probably the key track is 'Hope is Religion', which expresses what we have felt but dare not say it because it makes us so vulnerable; there’s something wonderfully affirming about SF's decision to continue on a different yet similar tack – as if they realised the audience they really can’t do without is ... each other.

Thank you. I want you forever.
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Format: Audio CD
Yesterday I visited TakeRoot in Groningen (Netherlands), a festival dedicated to Americana, at which I had the pleasure to hear Smoke Fairies for the first time. To be sure, they were the odd one out at the festival (neither American nor playing obvious Americana), but I liked very much what I saw and heard. The somewhat chilly presentation added to the overall effect of the music and the sound was great (fine drummer & bass player, by the way) although the lyrics were hardly intelligible. At the end of the show I purchased a vinyl copy of 'Smoke Fairies'.
Listening to this album and keeping in mind the concert I was reminded of Cocteau Twins with a dash of Radiohead, Kate Bush, trance/ambient and even Velvet Underground (especially at the live performance), all blended to a sound quite their own. For me the album completely lives up to my expectations, although the live performance had the greater impact on me as it was more powerful - while the album offers more in terms of subtility and balance, obviously. A great new discovery for me and an album to play really loud indeed.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Smoke Fairies are a unique and very special creative force, please do not hesitate to purchase this new offering or any of their back catalogue. They are in a class all of their own, top quality in every area, long may they continue, simply awesome!
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Excellent! Raw, stripped back songs that show Smoke Fairies in a new light. These are lean, sinewy pieces with their musical ribs showing, and a spare, electric edge that seems a long way from their earlier, more folk-tinged work. Very well worth a listen.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The more you play it the more you like it. Great voices, innovative production better heard on a quality stereo or ideally headphones. Makes you want to seek out their other albums. Two or three tracks are instantly catchy but some of the rest are real growers too. Shame it didn't come in a standard cd box just a cheaper card cover though.
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Format: Audio CD
The girls are evolving, this album is more diverse than previous offerings which I love , this has a slightly more heavy feeling mixed with the usual quality. Music is my main love in life, and this band are a main part of that love. Thanks girls,respect.
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Format: Audio CD
...then they'd be taking their time over this exquisite album savouring the many rich textures, delicious vocals, wonderfully seasoned arrangements and diverse compositions beautifully juxtaposed with not a bit of extra fat in sight! On this new Smoke Fairies offering everything is in the right place and you'll finish your listen feeling perfectly satisfied. On the music menu for 2014 this is a standout dish and one that you'll be returning to again and again. Go on...indulge yourself!
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