Album Review: Bloom in the Dark by Smiling Knife

The Smiling Knife trio from London and Brighton, with their own brand of ‘indie-folk-pop-noir’ have just released second album Bloom in the Dark, with a launch event at Merton Abbey Mills on December 14.

This is a mature offer from the band, who have clearly found their style, and it shies far away from anything commercial and manufactured.

Bloom in the Dark opens with a short medieval-style chorus hum embodying the theme of the title. It’s the kind of album that is best listened to with the lights low, a glass of red in hand and lying elegantly on a chez-lounge while it rains outside. Sounds of influence filter in and out of the tracks but never dominating the 11 eleven original songs that fit together piece by piece, telling the story of an emergence.

The drums and classical guitar in Deeply Debbie transport the listener to far away lands, a hint of Cuba or Miami. The mellow electric of Just for Me channels the old school Clapton, of the sixties, yet sounding current at the same

There is a haunting quality to the tracks, exemplified by Travelling through Time and Slowly Slowly Sue, as if they were recorded late into the night after one too many whiskeys and cigarettes – with a richness of experience and wisdom seeping through the melodies, instruments and vocals.

The album wraps up with Magento that could be a love child of Blondie, Sheryl Crow and Chrissie Hynde. Happy times. The final track Supernature is a remix (courtesy of John Jones) , that adds a dark club beat to the soundtrack of the album to finish off the playlist in style.

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