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Smoke Fairies, Through Low Light and Trees
Year Seven Records, June 14

06/09/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



You probably don’t remember, but I talked about this British chick-folk duo a while back, when their slovenly EP compilation came in. What a mess it was, a couple of dark goth-looking inserts shoved into a cheap slipcase with the CD and little explanation, but I liked it a lot. There was a definite weird-beard trip afoot, and being we’re real suckers for smoky fairies and quasi-vampirism and goth-whatnot down at the Saegerwood mansion, I figured I’d mention it to you guys back then, fully knowing there was no record store within 20 miles of here that’d have it, but meanwhile you already had your mind made up about Usher or whatever other nonsense was breaking at the time, so why not talk about a 100-to-1 shot. Cut to now, with Jack White having done what he promised, gotten these girls a deal, and so he’s gone. Gone also is the fuzzy rawness, inspired by all that Dead Weather and chick-rocker-in-Beetlejuice-lace stuff, and what you’re left with is a couple of girl folkies evoking Loreena McKennitt evoking Joan Baez, ergo much of the original charm has been replaced by breasty-voiced prostration in the face of new producer Head, who did some PJ Harvey.  A couple of cool jams (like “Dragon,” which takes some classical cues), but other than that it’s ren-faire mac-and-cheese. B- 

—EWS






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