The Staves - Dead & Born & Grown

The Staves - Dead & Born & Grown
Album Reviews

The sisters’ perfectly judged harmonies are their not-so-secret weapon, drawing obvious comparisons with the illustrious likes of Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell.



Label: Atlantic
Released: 12th November 2012
Reviewer: Greg Inglis
Three photogenic sisters from Watford, a dozen modern folk tales and Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, The Vaccines, Rufus Wainwright) at the production helm are the core ingredients of a debut from the band whose very name has music running through its veins. 

Nearly all of the subject matter here hinges on love but in a way that is never contrived. ‘Winter Trees’ sees the girls gently reminiscing on past relationship mistakes before eagerly strummed guitars enter the fray, a technique quite possibly learnt from a certain Marcus Mumford. Elsewhere we have ‘Facing West’, a contemplative tale of longing which hinges on an infectious ukulele melody. Another track which will be familiar to long-term devotees is the gentle piano led ballad ‘Mexico’, replete with mandolin and percussion it has a timeless beauty at its core. 

The sisters’ perfectly judged harmonies are their not-so-secret weapon, drawing obvious comparisons with the illustrious likes of Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell. These are showcased to best effect on the near a cappella ‘Wisely & Slow’ which opens proceedings in style. It comes as a shock when they let slip an expletive on the clunky ‘Pay Us No Mind’ but otherwise this is pure, wholesome fun. They even unveil their love of Americana on epic closer ‘Eagle Song’, its head-on collision of traditional folk and country music stretching their template yet further.  

‘Dead & Born & Grown’ is a record perfect for those long dark winter nights, an emotionally rich collection of songs that deserves to put Watford firmly on the musical map.
Rating: 7/10
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