Review: Blood Speaks – Smoke Fairies

SMoke Fairies BloodSpeaksI love a great album of music, especially when it’s excellent from song one to the last note of the last song.  And they’re not often found.  But with the release of the new Smoke Fairies album, Blood Speaks, we get just that, an excellent album.

Smoke Fairies are the pairing of two UK  schoolmates, Kathleen Blamire, and Jessica Davies.  The two have beautifully shared voices that blend well together within their infectious, and often ghostly acoustic mix of blues and folk.  Smoke Fairies’ two previous releases, Strange The Things (2007), and the haunting collection of songs found on Through Low Light And Trees (2010), encourage repeat listens even if only to hear the perfectly hypnotic vocals harmonies  of the two.

The primary ten songs on Blood Speaks lyrically explore the broken dreams of relationships, and emotional disarray from the viewpoints of personal failures and sadness.  Every song is delivered with a calculated unease that draws you into their thoughts and feelings.  Often enough, those emotions will mirror your own.  When that magic happens, you are engulfed within these amazing song capsules, filled to the brim with engaging British folk, and blues that roughens the edges.

SmokeFairiesGirlsTo point to any of the original ten as superior to the other would be to engage in wrong-doing.  What works better today is easily set aside tomorrow for another song that does the speaking for the day.  But I do have favorites that seem to play more than the rest. The very electric “The Three Of Us”, the sad “Film Reel”, and the perfect “Take Me Down When You Go”.  Still, the entire album has tremendous replay value sequentially.

The US issue of the UK-released album contains a bonus CD of tracks including a remix of “Film Reel”.  The other four bonus tracks ably reflect the spirit of Blood Speaks even though the tracks are outtakes, not as good as the primary ten but too good to leave unattended.  Of the four (not counting the remix), “Somebody Speaks” is easily the champion tune.

Smoke Fairies are so good, I firmly believe that their next album will be even more amazing.  I hope they hang around for quite a while.  I happen to like stocking my record collection with great music.

Release Date: April 9, 2013 (UK), April 23, 2013 (US)
Label: Year Seven Records
Availability: CD/Limited Edition Red Vinyl LP/DD

–Matt Rowe