Saturday, 13 December 2014

Smoke Fairies – Waiting For Something To Begin

One of the many stand-out songs from the Chichester-sired duo of
Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies' eponymous fourth album begins
with some far-off plainchant that ushers in the sort of gossamer-thin
atmospherics not heard since the back-packer trip-scape of All Saints'
Pure Shores. A low-slung guitar and a drum-beat that's part martial
mediaevalism, part Spectoresque wall-of-sound, gives way to a
self-reflective tale of small wonders, everyday epiphanies and fleeting
moments of shared joy.

Like some ancient madrigal fused with Me Generation confessional and
given a discreet post-modern sheen, Waiting For Something To Begin
belies any misplaced notions of kookiness the duo's name and image may
imply. At the heart of its textured melancholy and cut-glass
introspection is a shimmering sensuality possessed with strength and
power.

At moments Blamire and Davies' twin vocal recalls the equally spectral
work of Deirdre and Louise Rutkowski with 4AD records super-group This
Mortal Coil on their Filigree & Shadow and Blood albums, where this
very English form of folktronic gothic pastoralism wouldn't have
sounded out of place. As the centrepiece of an exquisite album, Waiting
For Something To Begin is a beguiling miniature masterpiece of yearning
and transcendence that whispers a beautiful truth.


Product magazine, December 2014, as part of Songs of 2014, co-written with Stewart Bremner, Sarah Busby and Simon Frith.

ends




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