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REVIEW: The Staves

by Aaron Cerbone - News Editor
Tue, Feb 21st 2017 05:45 pm

 The Staves, a vocally powerful electro-folk trio of three sisters, released two new songs on February 10. Though the songs, "Tired as F***" and "Train Tracks", differ in tone and pacing, they capture the different ways the group can use its stunning vocal harmonies. From "Tired as F***"'s bluesy, foot-stamping humming to the lazy and dragging harmonizations of "Train Tracks", the sisters' chemistry as vocalists is what gives The Staves its captivating sound. 

The vocals, acting as both rhythm and melody behind the lyrics, are as full as they are eerie.

The sister's balanced voices create a dreamy blend of mesmerizing sound. 

Originally wanting to create a sketch comedy show in their childhood, Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor perfected mixing their voices and built an irresistibly catchy folk group instead.

If you have ever seen the Coen brothers' movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?", think of the siren scene where three harmonizing vocalists sing and seduce George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson's characters on a riverbed. The Staves sound like these three singers stepped off the screen and into the real world.

They share a similarity with the vocal sound of the indie-pop duo Sylvan Esso. Their roaming, sing-song voices point toward a similar folk background.

The Staves' sound has evolved with these new tracks, moving from their more traditional vocal patterns to experimenting with their voices and harmonization more aggressively. This change in production is no doubt partially related to the band work and performing with indie folk band Bon Iver and founder Justin Vernon.

There's new experimentation in the two tracks. "Tired as F***" has an infectious rhythm and is as danceable as it is dark and "Train Tracks" pairs soothing vocals with poetic lyrics to make for a relaxing listen.

The trio has an amazing ability to create audible atmospheres and although there is a minimalist current carrying the songs, nothing is lacking from their performance. Each track layers in instruments slowly, building as the sisters' voices become more intense and haunting.

While new music from The Staves is not doing anything groundbreaking, they are expanding on their sound without tarnishing what made them brilliant in the first place. It is just good, solid music.

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