“The Staves concentrate on tight harmonies, fire-side warm arrangements and winsome storytelling, the appeal of which grows with every play” 4/5 – Mojo
The Staves release their new single, ‘Winter Trees’ on the 11th February 2013 through Atlantic Records. It is taken from their acclaimed debut album, ‘Dead & Born & Grown’.
2012 was a breakthrough year for The Staves. Their debut album received near faultless reviews from the British media, and following a series of US, European and UK tours with Bon Iver, and a recent sold-out tour of the UK in their own right, the three sisters have rightly begun to reap the rewards of their relentless years of hefty touring.
Winter Trees is emblematic of The Staves’ close-harmonised song craft, and a track they have been performing since their very inception as a band. It’s a beautifully melodic, folk-informed tune that draws upon their immediate influences but blossoms into a song that is undeniably their own.
The musical evolution of The Staves — Emily, Jessica and Camilla — has been a slow, steady process; an adventure that began in the stew of family car journeys, sing-alongs, and squabbles over the stereo, and immersed in the music of artists like Feist, Fleet Foxes, Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and The Beatles. “There was always music in the house and we always sang,” Jessica remembers. “Mum and Dad weren’t professional musicians or anything but they were always into music and would sing, and play both the guitar and piano. Lots of harmonies.”
The Staves’ songwriting is as striking as it is exquisite, a melding of still, bright English folk and sublime West Coast pop that, performed live, is capable of plunging an audience into awed silence.
“Our vocal arrangements have a lot to do with it,” Says Emily, “When we’re writing a song it suddenly gets to a place where it’s ours, sung in a three-part harmony.” The vocal arrangements are indeed something that marks out The Staves, a mingling of dusky sweetness and high, beaming radiance. “Oh yeah,” Emily laughs, “we’re definitely better together than apart. It’s weird, we’ve all got really different voices.”
‘Dead & Born & Grown’ is a record that showcases their songwriting and their voices to quietly beautiful effect, but undeniably it’s out on the road that those voices are at the most affecting. Yet as the recent critical acclaim suggests, this album encapsulates exactly where The Staves are at, as they weave themselves through state to state, and county to county.
“a debut of stellar beauty and hidden depths” – Sunday Times Culture
“triple-pinged harmonies as impossibly gorgeous as the girls themselves” 4/5 – Q
“their graceful melodies reveal a supple strength and modernity” 4/5 – The Telegraph
“the real ace up their sleeves is their exquisite harmonies” 8/10 – Uncut
“magical stuff” 5/5 – The Independent
“Perfectly gorgeous” – The Guardian
“their harmonies stand out as exquisite”8/10 – Clash
“eye-wateringly gorgeous…holy folk, it’s good” – Grazia
“…whose crystalline harmonies could engrave through glass” – Time Out