On this new EP the three sisters from Watford are growing in confidence and their songwriting skills are developing in new directions. With the ubiquitous Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) guiding them in the studio the lighter melodies of "Dead and Born and Grown" are being toughened up. While there is nothing wrong with a bit of whimsy particularly as sung by the perfect harmonies of these sisters its good to see new avenues opening up. The Guardian has recently accurately captured the elements of the band in describing the sisters voices as follows "Camilla's feathery folk vocals are reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, while Jessica has a soulful pop larynx that, on "Open", recalls Aimee Mann. Emily adds a country feel".
"Blood I Bled" comprises four songs firstly "Open" which commences the EP and concludes it in a mix by Justin Vernon. It is a delicious slice of Americana that floats above the listener and envelopes you with warmth. Vernon's mix is performed more as a hymnal, full of echo and ghostly vocals phrasing. Whilst not as good as the full version it marks an interesting take on the Staves music. The key track is "Blood I Bled" with harmonies to die for and approach which echoes the power of the Fleet Foxes at full tilt. Seek this one out, you would not want to miss it. Finally on a short EP of classic Americana why not have a track called "America"? This is a lovely alternative country tale which can easily match and outstrip much of the music coming from our cousins across the pond, who are the masters of this genre.
This EP really whets the appetite for the full Staves sophomore album due shortly. you will also wish to note that on another big music download supplier this EP can be in your possession in seconds for less than two pounds. For the sheer quality of the music contained herein its the bargain of the week.
Review by Red on Black