Smoke Fairies – ‘Wild Winter’

A bittersweet wintry record focusing on loneliness but still leaving a warm feeling

For Smoke Fairies, winter is a part of the year that “will always be bittersweet and wild”. ‘Wild Winter’ is a Christmas album, but one that reflects on loneliness. ‘Christmas Without A Kiss’ is a deflated opener, a slow surge of shoegazey guitars and frustrated lyrics (”Bring me his love”). Next is a tranquil cover of Captain Beefheart’s ‘Steal Softly Thru Snow’, which wraps the original’s jerkiness in a thick winter blanket. ‘Three Kings’ rides a danceable bassline and ‘Bad Good’ sits awkwardly on Santa’s knee (”Have you been bad/Or have you been good?”) before the plaintive melody on ‘Nothing To Divide Us’ ends a record that, despite bleak inspiration, leaves a warm feeling.

Ben Homewood

Details

Record label: Full Time Hobby
Release date: 15 Dec, 2014