mon 04/03/2024

Album: Smoke Fairies - Carried in Sound | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Smoke Fairies - Carried in Sound

Album: Smoke Fairies - Carried in Sound

Intimate tunes from alt-folkie duo bring some gentle magic

Beautiful but regretful vibes

Carried in Sound is Chichester alt-folkies Smoke Fairies’ sixth album and first since 2020’s Darkness Brings Wonders Home. A relatively lo-fi piece that was largely recorded at home during the pandemic, it is intimate and warm yet largely deals with the not exactly uplifting subject matter of failed relationships, aging and loss.

The recording process that was forced on the duo for this disc has produced a suite of tunes that are airy and sparse, featuring little more than Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies’ voices and guitars or piano with rarely employed percussion created from beating bin lids, old suitcases and a broken snare borrowed from their neighbours. However, this doesn’t mean that there’s a shambling, wilfully amateur atmosphere about Carried in Sound in the least, even though it’s unlikely that many of the tunes here are going to encourage anyone to cut a rug.

The beautiful but regretful “Vague Ideas” features lilting plainsong-like vocals and a picked guitar, as it tells of a messy relationship, while the mellow “There Was a Hope” brings sparse piano and long-term collaborator Neil Walsh’s gentle viola to a tale of thwarted dreams. The fuzzy title track lays down some witchy psychedelic folk vibes and echoes the atmosphere of Shane Meadows’ recent television series The Gallows Pole. Meanwhile, “Part of It All” is sweet and smoky with a ghostly atmosphere and “Sticks and Stones” is distinctly ethereal and woozy with its laidback guitar solo and harmonising voices.

Carried in Sound is a luscious and potent collection of songs that will be just the thing to accompany winter evenings spent indoors, sheltering from the rain and the cold, preferably with a glass of something intoxicating to hand. In fact, it’s easy to imagine its eerie melancholy providing a soundtrack for plenty of stay-at-homes in the next few months.

A luscious and potent collection of songs that will be just the thing to accompany winter evenings spent indoors

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Editor Rating: 
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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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