Interview | FFS 5 with Smoke Fairies

By all accounts, Smoke Fairies have been a long-standing For Folk’s Sake favorite. The Chichester duo have featured on our 2016 advent calendar and have been dutifully followed by our own Ian Parker and company since 2012. There’s been much ado about the musical adventures of Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies since, too. Primarily, they’re releasing a brand new album; Darkness Brings the Wonders Home drops in just a crisp two days.

Looking ahead to the release of their hotly anticipated LP, Smoke Fairies now take their spot in the ever-expanding halls of ‘FFS 5’ glory as they offer their answers to our five questions.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you get started in music? Any defining moments along the path to present day?

We’re Smoke Fairies, we grew up in Chichester and started writing music together when we were 13. When we started off we really wanted to be just like Sheryl Crow but in duo form with Crosby Still Nash and Young style harmonies.  At 13 your dreams run wild. More than anything we wanted to resist an ordinary life and music was the vehicle for that. Kaf diarised all these feelings and aspirations and has been reading some of extracts on our podcast. Our main goal was to ride around in a tour bus with ‘lots of wheels and a sun roof. We’ve done lots of that so dreams can come true. We also actually did end up meeting Sheryl Crow which we also talk about on our podcast. That was a defining moment.

As artists, how do you define success?

If you’ve set out to ride around in a big tour bus and meet Sheryl Crow and you’ve achieved that then that is a massive success. Unfortunately, ideas of success change as you get older and what you’ve achieved is never enough. It would be a success to make a living out of music.  

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

Self-promotion is hard. Without big PR budgets you have to promote yourself but if you really hate being on social media then it’s a struggle. We’ve found that the medium of podcasting is fun and it gives us a excuse to do posts. The music is a outlet for serious reflection, the podcast is a chance to reveal the ridiculously silly nature of the music business. 

What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as a band? What do you hope to achieve?

Anything is achievable really. If you’re doing music then you are already a fantastical person who isn’t going to think realistically.  If we thought realistically we would have never set out to pursue music in the first place, because everyone told us it wasn’t a real career choice.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

Gardening and running are great ways to let your mind unconsciously wander. It’s surprising where it will take you when you shut off.
Hoovering is great because not only is it mindless, the noise masks yodeling practice.


Feb. 1 –  Soup Kitchen – Manchester, UK 
Feb. 2 –  Oporto – Leeds, UK 
Feb. 3 –  Norwich Arts Centre – Norwich, UK 
Feb. 5 –  The Bullingdon – Oxford, UK 
Feb. 6 –  Hoxton Hall – London , UK [SOLD OUT]
Feb. 7 –  Birmingham, UK [SOLD OUT]
Feb. 8 –  Bristol, UK [SOLD OUT]
Feb. 9 –  Portsmouth, UK [SOLD OUT]

Words by: Jonathan Frahm