Released October 19th 2009
Today I introduce to music.co.uk the Smoke Fairies, a female duo that have been busy impressing festival crowds this summer, in preparation for this single release. From the first note of ‘Sunshine’, there’s something very familiar about this band, and my thoughts lean towards the likes of Enya, or some of the mysterious/dark musicians and songs that inhabit the hit film Twilight. This should give you some idea of the musical genre Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies inhabit.
The school friends from Sussex have a smooth strong vocal presence on the song, and their simple harmonic touch creates just the right mood. Add to this the folk/string sounds, with a band that includes Viola, Double Bass, Drums, and you have a quite haunting mix of American Blues, and very traditional English Folk styles. As a music fan I often find it quite hard to spot so-called ‘modern twists’ in this genre of music, everything seems so traditional, mystical, and from another place/time. That said, when the music really built up part way through the song, it did seem like a bit of modern indie style was creeping into the mix. There’s definitely a place for this song in the market, though for me, not enough lyrical content to keep my attention.
Sunshine is joined by b-side ‘When You Grow Old’, which tells quite a lonely story of someone who doesn’t marry and grows old alone. It’s not really the sort of subject matter that would see me reach for the repeat button, although again, the vocal performance and musical arrangement is delicate and well done. Listen out for the slightly spiritual backing vocals layered in amongst the melody as well which adds something different to the song.
So there you go, two songs down, and one conclusion left to go. I’ve heard quite a few songs like this before, and this offering from the Smoke Fairies is one of the better ones. The musicianship, vocals, and atmosphere are all pretty much where they should be, but both songs need that final ingredient to lift them above the competition.
For more information on the Smoke Fairies, including their autumn tour dates, please visit www.smokefairies.com