The Staves

Dead & Born & Grown

(Atlantic)

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The acapella start to Wisely & Slow, which made you sit up during BBC Two's Later... also opens the debut album from the three sisters in The Staves, and the mighty fine news is that the quality of that first track is maintained throughout the rest of the set, confirming the promise of their EPs. There is a whole heap of intelligence at work here, from the trio's name (musical, but derived from their own) and the neo-retro album title, to the spiky lyrical content (a frank female take on love as it is lived, often) and the witty Western video for lead single Tongue Behind My Teeth. But there is also a fierce musicality, finely realised by father and son production team of Glyn and Ethan Johns. They have that sibling vocal closeness, of course, but when the lead voice changes you can tell instantly, not unlike the Roches, whom they recall specifically on Gone Tomorrow and In The Long Run. Listen out for a perfect application of the popular demotic on Pay Us No Mind.

Keith Bruce