ALBUM REVIEW: The Staves - If I Was

THE STAVES ... If I Was (Atlantic).
THE STAVES ... If I Was (Atlantic).

THE archetypal happy accident, sibling trio The Staves’ second LP was spawned from a casual collaboration with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, in sessions so innocuous they hadn’t even bothered informing their record label.

With this in mind, the first compliment one must pay If I Was is that it bears little resemblance to a record that’s been bashed out off the cuff.

In fact, with Vernon handling production duties, their acoustic folk template is awash with subtle and inventive sonic touches, though at no point do these detract from the Staveley-Taylor sisters’ gorgeous entwined voices.

And they’re on song throughout, conveying a wondrous wistful quality on songs such as Let Me Down and Black & White that’s at once mesmeric and heart-warming.

With fellow sibling acts such as First Aid Kit also making waves, it seems female harmonies are one of the ‘in’ sounds of the moment - and I for one am not complaining. 7/10. AW