Review: Dead & Born & Grown by the Staves

Dead & Born & Grown by the StavesThe inevitable comparison when listening to the Staves’ full-length debut, at least to me, is First Aid Kit – they are three sisters from Hertfordshire with a thing for vocal harmonies. But while those girls have focused on pastoral folk and segued towards Americana, these girls have their sights firmly on Laura Marling’s brand of nu-folk, only with less pained vocals. Tracks like “Mexico”, and particularly “Snow”, tread towards that, but the harmonies turn it into a different thing, taking control and preventing the album from sounding like a tripled rehash. “Winter Trees” has a sweetness you’d never see in Laura (and this is no diss), while album starter “Wisely & Slow” does what it says on the tin: focus on the strengths, and slowly build to a climax. The Staves may have stuck to their comfort zones far too much on this one, but it’s a decent start. | 4/5

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