RARELY has a gratuitous album sales plug been so gracefully delivered as it was when the Staves emerged from their pre-encore drift into the wings, the sound of applause ringing in their ears.
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
The three Watford-raised sisters’ new LP If I Was will be released next month, we were informed (it was originally meant to have been out just prior to this tour), and we should have been taking the chance to order it online while they were briefly absent. “Mum and Dad say it’s well good,” assured one of the three female musicians arranged along the front of the stage, reassuringly.
It seemed that even though the circumstances fostered a lack of familiarity with much of the music, the near-capacity crowd were only too willing to take the trio on trust and involve themselves heartily. Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor are a multi-faceted proposition – not quite folk, not quite country, and even a little bit pop in the urgency of their compositions. With the new album having been produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, the hope is that this was the first step in a rapidly escalating success story.
Backed by three male musicians (“they’re good guys, they put up with a lot”), the Staveley-Taylors’ lush sound hinged upon the strength and maturity of their respective vocals, either individually or in unison. They sounded upbeat and breezy during the brisk country-rocker Teeth White, wintery cool amidst their unaccompanied turn on Facing West and blessed with a soulful Staples family quality on the closing Wisely and Slow.