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Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies, aka SMOKE FAIRIES, only opted for their University History course in order to secure a year studying in New Orleans. It was there, during their stint playing the city’s bars and cafés, that the duo began to cross-pollinate the tenets of trad-folk and swamp blues that make up their cool, sultry sound.
Four years on, with Bryan Ferry and Richard Hawley’s seal of approval now intact, Smoke Fairies have released their first single Living With Ghosts – a song awash with the wistful melancholy that has seen them pull in fans from far and wide. Blamire: “We see people absorbed as we play and surely that’s what they connect to in a song – the things they don’t go around saying every day.” MOJO
“frankly the best thing i have heard in years” – Richard Hawley
“dark, lustful blues-folk” – Mojo
“beautifully harmonised, wistful songs … This is enchanting” – The Guardian
“Smoke Fairies are stronger, sexier and more sultry … yet still maintain a fragile vulnerability; ethereally enchanting” – The Times
“Spectral folk-blues… takes us from the spooky, medieval sounds of Sussex to finger-picking in a Catskills Shack and on into blues-soaked New Orleans” – Timeout
“These girls are Bob Dylan’s dream” – Channel4.com
“Hard to put into words how good these two ladies are.” – thebeatsurrender.co.uk
“Mean, moody, and magnificent… this is amazing stuff for a debut album, lets hope they have all the success they deserve.” – roomthirteen.com
“Fragile folk… these girls produce just about the loveliest two part harmonies you’re likely to hear” Music Mart
“this is music for the soul – music of the Gods – music from the Gods!” Peter Brown – rbfanzine.co.uk
“Haunting. Tuneful. Musically accomplished. If you want a four-word review for this duo, there it is.” Indie-Music.com
DAN MICHAELSON AND THE COASTGUARDS
The absentee frontman with the Johnny Cash vocals and an ear for sardonic prose goes it alone on this venture… Well, almost alone. Those present on perfectly heartbreaking album Saltwater include; Henry Spenner (Fields), Laurie Earle (Absentee) Arnulf Lindner (Ed Harcourt), Romeo Stodart (Magic Numbers), Tom Gorbut And Henry Clarke (Rumblestrips), And Steven Adams (Broken Family Band). On Memphis Industri
“your ears naturally tune into Michaelson’s skill at putting words to the parts of relationships that usually stay silent. The cruel asymmetry of romance is addressed exquisitely, recalling the resigned grandeur of the Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster ” **** The Times “impressive – comes on like Smog fronting the songs of Ed Harcourt” Uncut “an intensely felt and sparsely drawn study of the beginnings and ends of relationships” **** Time Out Spellbinding, genuinely heartbreaking songs.. The Quietus
LEFT WITH PICTURES are from London, and formed in 2005. They started with three hard-up, classically trained musicians – Stuart Barter, Rob Wicks and Toby Knowles – who forsook the orchestra pit for the sanctuary of Toby’s parents’ loft. Armed with melodicas, guitars, violins, kazoos, ‘found sounds’ and a shoestring budget, they began with two self released EPs – 2005’s ‘EP’ and ‘Making Chalk’ from 2006.
In 2008 LWP signed to Organ Grinder Records – and released an EP entitled “Secretly” which gained them rave reviews from The Guardian, Drowned in Sound, Time Out and other publications – as well as a slew of radio play.
All the while, LWP have performed regularly, from the Bush Hall to bedrooms, with the likes of Kate Nash, Johnny Flynn, Slow Club and The Wave Pictures. They often perform entirely without amplification – using the natural acoustics of the room, their instruments and voices to create the performance.
Left With Pictures are currently recording their debut album – set for summer release on Organ Grinder Records.
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