Silver And Fire
11 Track, LP (2007, Longtime Listener)
Related: M. Craft.
It’s a lovely work of alchemy, Silver And Fire. A portrait of east London’s narcotic dissolution and boozy seediness, absorbed through Martin Craft’s incredibly sensitive skin and lonely soul, the results emerge as delicate, bossa nova-tinged acoustic intimacies. Martin (one of Sidewinder’s Craft brothers) has a wonderfully smoky, uniquely late-night-feel to his music, and is a compelling, deft narrator, particularly of lost girls. ‘Emily Snow’ sets the scene with a lilting grace: “Where do we go/Now all the late night bars are closed/And all our friends have turned to shadows/People come and people go/In the blink of an eye, we’re all gonna die…” On the Neil Young-esque ‘Sweets’, “It’s 5am and you’re on some corner again”, while in the art school tragedy tale, ‘Snowbird’, the protagonist gets consumed by “vodka and pills”.
Craft is also unafraid of turning the microscope on himself, revealing deeply felt, beautifully expressed artistic quandaries on ‘I Got Nobody Waiting For Me’, and ‘The Soldier’ where he admits, “I’ve been fighting these stupid wars…/If I don’t come back dead/I’m coming to make you mine”. Silver And Fire is as insightful as say, Bloc Party’s much-celebrated A Weekend In The City, but more reflective and dreamy, ultimately finding redemption and release in true love. My one quibble is with ‘Lucile (Where Did The Love Go?)’, an entirely out of place upbeat ditty. Please, no need to shield us from the darkness – we like it.
by Lauren Zoric