Smoke Fairies: Folk heroines' long odyssey

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The Independent Culture

With support from Jack White and Bryan Ferry, Smoke Fairies are no ordinary folk-oriented outfit. Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies met as part of a school choir in rural Sussex, gaining further inspiration from their parents' Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young records and a desire to get the hell out of Chichester.

Smoke Fairies combine olde English pastoralism with the more gritty sounds that float the White Stripes' frontman's boat. Vocally, the pair bring to mind the old school tones of Sandy Denny, Shirley Collins and those classical girl groups that perform madrigals, yet formative periods spent in New Orleans and Vancouver have broadened their musical palette.

Performing as Smoke Fairies since 2005, it was a couple of years before their first break. A friend handed some demos to Roxy Music's main man, who was impressed enough to invite the girls on to his tour. Blamire and Davies then tried the same trick themselves when they reportedly cornered White at a gig and thrust some tunes upon him. It worked, as he invited them to Nashville to become the first UK act recorded for his Third Man label.

That resulted in last year's single "Gastown"/ "River Song", and since then the duo have supported Laura Marling in the States and Richard Hawley at home, going on to guest on his maritime EP False Lights From The Land. The duo have also found time to record an occasionally uncanny debut album. Hopefully after so much time wandering, they will stay long enough to enjoy some local success.

Smoke Fairies' album 'Through Low Light And Trees' is out September 6 on V2/Cooperative Music