‘We’ve Seen Birds’ is a strong opener and it’s only after listening to the rest of the record a few times that it becomes apparent why. On several tracks, notably ‘Hope is Religion’, Smoke Fairies attempt to layer different percussion and vocals in unexpected ways, and the result is all a little disorganised and incoherent. The reason ‘We’ve Seen Birds’, and indeed all the best moments on the record, excel, is that they are so simple. Short, memorable lyrical hooks are key here, and as long as they are around then an interesting guitar line in the background doesn’t go amiss. ‘Waiting For Something To Begin’ is this theory exemplified and one of the strongest moments on record as a result
Shimmering harps on ‘Koto’ reinforce the feeling of fantasy, but then ‘The Very Last Time’ sees the Fairies try some new vocal styles that put everything out of kilter again. Just as it started strong, so it ends it also. ‘Are You Crazy’ ends on an elated note and feels like Smoke Fairies have found some sort of meaning at the end of all the wandering through this album of peaks and troughs.