The Staves’ second studio album, If I Was, is expected to release on March 31, 2015. The folk trio is made up of three sisters who hail from Hertfordshire, England. They began singing at local pubs and rose to prominence while supporting The Civil Wars, and later, Bon Iver on tour. The album was born while the group was on tour for their first album and refined with the help of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver’s frontman) at his isolated studio in rural Wisconsin. After much anticipation, they have released two songs that will be featured on the record: “The Blood I Bled” and “Black and White.”
“The Blood I Bled” is the first track on the album, which may be fitting because it captures the personality of the group impeccably. The song is folky and tranquil – two things that the group is known for. The vocals are the main attraction, and the harmonization of the sisters is flawless. As the song goes on, you get a sense of how wide their vocal ranges are. They execute the soft portions of the song and the more vocally demanding sections perfectly. All three artists sing as if it’s as natural as breathing; never sounding forced in the slightest.
“Black and White” is the third track on the album. It packs a punch and shows off a more rebellious and sassy side of the sisters. The lyrics are about someone who was being used and is ready to take a stand for their worth. A stand out line from the song is: “I lit the fuse so run and hide.” Normally, their voices are rather demure, and this track presented a nice change of pace. Even though this tune gave more of a bluesy/rock vibe than the other tune, they still used their voices as the tools to bring the bulk of the drama to the song instead of relying on excessive instrumentals.
This preview to their upcoming album is definitely more evolved than their previous album and the EP’s that came before, but there is something more assertive and bold about it that brings new depth to their identity. What’s great about the songs that The Staves have chosen to release is that they show off two very different sides to the group. “The Blood I Bled” projects a confident, easy sound while “Black and White” has a jaded attitude. Hopefully, the rest of the tracks on the album will follow suit and still retain all that critics and fans love about the group while still demonstrating how much they have grown as artists.
FDRMX Eyes: Check out Belgian folk rock band, Geppetto & the Whales’ music video below. “Jonathan” is an explosive video about an epic food fight.