Since their acclaimed 2010 debut album, “Through Low Light And Trees”, Smoke Fairies’ Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire have been on an epic journey, both physically and spiritually. Touring Britain, Europe and America, drawing increasingly devoted audiences with their exquisitely original and mesmerising music.
All these experiences bleed from every pore of their new album, “Blood Speaks”. From the heavyweight humidity of “The Three Of Us” and “Feel It Coming Near”, to the sonic adventures of “Film Reel” and the title track, Blood Speaks is undeniable proof of a tougher and more fearless Smoke Fairies. “We’ve become more confident in what we’re doing, and so we’ve pushed things a bit more,” says Katherine. “We’ve gotten bolder with the dynamics, and our influences have broadened.”
Head, the venerated producer, returns for Blood Speaks, and the girl’s live band was also drafted in, further reinforcing the duo’s evolving sound. Having recorded their debut in rural Cornwall, the new album was produced in the urban surroundings of West London’s Ladbroke Grove. “Before,” Katherine recalls, “the city felt like a trap to us. Like on the first album, we wrote “Devil In My Mind”, about feeling crushed by London. But as the title track symbolises, we’ve made peace with the city. Maybe travelling gives you the space to counteract a city’s impression, but a lot of Blood Speaks is inspired by London and by travelling.”
The title track itself is also the album’s longest and most clear signpost of progress. “We tried to break out of the different forms which you can get restricted by in folk and blues,” says Katherine. “It was very liberating to do that, as well as a very uplifting, independent song for us.” Jessica adds: “It’s about the sense you get from stopping, thinking and just focusing on your surroundings. To listen to what your blood is telling you, to experience life and to celebrate the freedom of being able to move around.”
“Blood Speaks” is released 21st May on V2 Records.