Smoke Fairies – Through Low Light and Trees


The truth is that I write for something of an alternative music magazine, not weekly newsletters for a middle-aged music appreciation club. If you were expecting me to write that this is “a spiritual journey, led by two strong and talented females, as they capture the heart of mother-earth in delicate harmonies”, or some other bullshit esoteric description – I’m clearly not.

This whimsical-folk stuff really isn’t my cup of tea, and I feel bad for the girls because it is well written and produced. The instrumentals are amazing and the tone is spectacularly haunting, but that’s not how it was marketed to me and therefore, not how I’ll critique it.

Upon receiving this, I was given a short blurb that began with “previously recorded with Jack White…” and immediately assumed (yes, I’m the idiot for making assumptions) that these would be girls with attitude and gutsy guitars… and while there are elements of blues-influence, this would have been better described by Porky Pig with a “that’s all folk”.

I could use Microsoft thesaurus to find a thousand alternatives for adjectives such as ‘beautiful’ and ‘enchanting’ but I think you know the hyperbolic terms used by all pretentious artsy-critics, simply to describe ‘women singing harmoniously over folk rhythm’.

The instrumentals kept me interested at times, with a collection of guitars, drums, violins, organs and lap steels, but not enough to hold my attention for a whole forty minutes.

The first track, Summer Fades, was not the best choice to open with, because after the soppy intro, when the electric guitar riff begins, you can’t help but hope for the track to break out into this raw, bluesy sound, but it never does – not for the whole album.

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