The Staves #4 - Dead & Born & Grown

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A common complaint about new band blogs (although this blog is a journal of my musical taste, I tend to favour new bands so I guess that description applies) is that they are fickle things, proclaiming a band to be the "saviour of the world" and "the best thing since sliced bread" off two fuzzy demos recorded in their bedroom and then promptly disregarded them before they've even released an album. Positivity and praise is all good in my opinion (a few people I know wouldn't believe that, I'm a right miserable so and so most of the time!) so I'm not adverse to the odd superlative or twenty myself and in this post I'll give a few to a band local to me, who released their debut album this week, Watford's (or a suburb of) very own The Staves.

Since I last talked about the Staveley-Taylor sisters in February they've toured (again) with Bon Iver, gained a shed-load more plaudits and fans and appeared on Jools Holland, not bad from three sisters from old Hertfordshire indeed, 2013 promises to bring even bigger things and festival performances a plenty, from the one I saw this year at Latitude I'll say they've going to be a huge success, what better than delicate instrumentation and being sung to by three heavenly voices to nurse any festival-inflicted wounds.

The album Dead & Born & Grown is a perfect summation of the girls journey so far, with older tracks "Mexico" and "Facing West" as exquisite as ever, sitting perfectly alongside tracks from the Motherlode EP and newer songs too, much will be said about the sisters rich harmonies and genteel melodies (with good reason), which slowly and luxuriously linger in your brain like a Sunday afternoon with a glass of fine malt whisky. Highlights are throughout, the a cappella "Wise and slowly" is hymnal perfection, the tender "Pay Us No Mind", like so much of the album, is just beautiful while "Tongue Behind My Teeth" sees the sister take some Americana influences with a kick-drum beat propelling jangling guitar and dusty melodies which sweep and stomp like the outlaw video that accompanies the track.

The Staves blend their harmonies together as well as any I've previously heard and Dead & Born & Grown is the perfect Winter months album, irresistible, don't miss out. Available on CD/LP now.