The Staves - 'If I Was'

9/10

With the likes of Ed Sheeran and Mumford & Sons popularising their version of the folk music sound over the last few years, it is refreshing to hear an act that is looking to bring the original down-tempo ambience of the genre back to the 21st century. The second outing for sisterly trio The Staves is one of the most authentically sounding folk records we have heard this year and is brought to life by the siblings own unwavering ability to harmonise with the most effortless finesse.

While fans of the group will already be familiar with their unique singing style, 'If I Was' seems to keep this element of their overall sound at the centre of all the new material. With minimal instrumentation and seldom seem percussion, this new release is focused purely on the sisters and their incredible vocals. Holding notes for war seems like an eternity in places, each voice plays off the back of the one underneath and results in one of the most beautifully constructed albums of the year so far.

Fans of Bon Iver and Civil Wars will be all over this new release. Breathtaking throughout, The Staves have managed to breathe energy and atmosphere into such a modest genre and given it a new lease of life for this millennium.

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