Smoke Fairies

Blood Speaks

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Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies' third outing under the Smoke Fairies banner finds the bewitching English duo wrapping their velvety voices and nimble guitar picking around another moody set of misty electric folk and turbulent Victorian blues. Like 2010's stellar Through Low Light and Trees, Blood Speaks feels both out of time and oddly contemporary, utilizing vintage gear and a storm of reverb to project a Pentangle/"Rhiannon"-era Fleetwood Mac vibe, while maintaining an undercurrent of bluesy, slide-driven Americana. The latter can be felt most prominently on tracks like "The Three of Us," "Take Me Down When You Go," and "Version of the Future," all of which sport an earthy patina of Southern gothic ambience, while more stately cuts like "Let Me Know," "Awake," and "Feel It Coming Near," the latter of which feels like a lost sibling to Low Light highlight "Devil in My Mind," feel like they were drawn from a more regional well. Blamire and Davies sound more confident this time around, allowing their throaty wails a wider berth, and their snaky melodies a little more room to sneak, and while Blood Speaks may lack the immediate hooks of its predecessor, it's got longer legs, deeper corners, and attitude to spare.

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