The Staves' New Justin Vernon–Produced Album, "If I Was," Out Now

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The Staves' new Justin Vernon–produced album, If I Was, is out now on CD and digitally in the US on Nonesuch Records, with vinyl due April 21. The trio brings "angelic harmonies" to the "consistently daring" album, writes the New York Times' Jon Pareles. "[T]he songs are illuminated from within." "This entire record is essential listening," raves Stereogum. "The Staveley-Taylor sisters possess the kind of voices that make able-bodied writers lose control of their capacity to avoid terms like ethereal, angelic, and otherworldly." The album earns four stars from the GuardianSun, MusicOMH, and Daily Mirror, which calls it "ravishing and inspired ... with astonishing vocals ... an unfailingly tender touch, freshness and natural warmth."

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The Staves' Justin Vernon–produced label debut, If I Was, is out now on CD and digitally in the United States on Nonesuch Records, with vinyl to follow on April 21. The Staves, originally from Watford, England, are three sisters: Emily (vocals), Jessica (vocals, guitar), and Camilla (vocals, ukulele) Staveley-Taylor. The album was recorded in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, at Vernon's April Base Studios—a former veterinary clinic where he also recorded his 2012 self-titled Bon Iver album. To pick up a copy of If I Was in the US, head to your local music shop, iTunes, Amazon, or the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders and vinyl pre-orders include a download of the complete album at checkout.

The Staves released their first full-length album, Dead & Born & Grown, to critical acclaim in 2012. The trio spent much of the past three years touring the world, including opening spots with the Civil Wars, Mumford & Sons, and Bon Iver. It was during the Bon Iver dates that the sisters formed a bond with Vernon and his band and were invited to visit April Base's relaxed, idyllic setting. Vernon recently joined the band for a performance of the album track "Make It Holy" in London; you can watch that below.

The New York Times includes If I Was in its Playlist this week. The trio brings "angelic harmonies" to the "consistently daring" album, writes Times music critic Jon Pareles. "[T]he songs are illuminated from within." Read the complete review at nytimes.com.

"This entire record is essential listening," raves Stereogum, which gave the US premiere of the album last week. "The Staveley-Taylor sisters possess the kind of voices that make able-bodied writers lose control of their capacity to avoid terms like ethereal, angelic, and otherworldly. They are simply astonishing in tone, harmony, precision, their ability to weave in and around one another like birds dipping and flitting through the sky."

Following the UK release of If I Was on Atlantic Records last week, the album earned four stars from the Guardian, Daily Mirror, Sun, MusicOMH.

"The voices are still silken, the sibling harmonies still graceful," says the Guardian of the new album, but with "the music taking thrilling leaps in character and complexity. The Watford sisters’ decision to work with Justin Vernon ... as producer was inspired."

"This ravishing and inspired, Bon Iver-produced second album from Watford wonder siblings Emily, Jessica and Camilla Stavely-Taylor raises the stakes," says the Daily Mirror's Gavin Martin. The album "is effected with astonishing vocals ... an unfailingly tender touch, freshness and natural warmth. Spring has sprung."

"The second album from the three harmony-perfect Staveley-Taylor sisters is a startling transformation from the indie folk of their debut to something altogether more grown-up," says the Sun, citing "a lushness to the production and an intricacy to the songwriting."

There’s a new, easy confidence about the band on the record," writes MusicOMH's John Murphy in a four star review; "the harmonies are still there, but this time they’re built around the songs, rather than the other way round. And what songs they are: gorgeous and dramatic, there are moments on If I Was that could positively make you swoon." The closing track, "Sadness Don't Own Me," is "a fitting ending to a stunningly gorgeous-sounding album which should see the three talented sisters move up to a whole new level."

"The bewitching Staves sisters return with a staggering sophomore album with none other than previous touring pal Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) handling production duties," writes Clash Music's Sam Walker-Smart, giving the album an eight. "Retreating to Vernon's Wisconsin based studio for some good 'ol fashioned artistic isolation, The Staves have emerged with a finely tuned set of twelve tracks that adds weight and scope to their already lovely noise."

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The Staves: "If I Was" [cover]
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015
    The Staves' New Justin Vernon–Produced Album, "If I Was," Out Now

    The Staves' Justin Vernon–produced label debut, If I Was, is out now on CD and digitally in the United States on Nonesuch Records, with vinyl to follow on April 21. The Staves, originally from Watford, England, are three sisters: Emily (vocals), Jessica (vocals, guitar), and Camilla (vocals, ukulele) Staveley-Taylor. The album was recorded in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, at Vernon's April Base Studios—a former veterinary clinic where he also recorded his 2012 self-titled Bon Iver album. To pick up a copy of If I Was in the US, head to your local music shop, iTunes, Amazon, or the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders and vinyl pre-orders include a download of the complete album at checkout.

    The Staves released their first full-length album, Dead & Born & Grown, to critical acclaim in 2012. The trio spent much of the past three years touring the world, including opening spots with the Civil Wars, Mumford & Sons, and Bon Iver. It was during the Bon Iver dates that the sisters formed a bond with Vernon and his band and were invited to visit April Base's relaxed, idyllic setting. Vernon recently joined the band for a performance of the album track "Make It Holy" in London; you can watch that below.

    The New York Times includes If I Was in its Playlist this week. The trio brings "angelic harmonies" to the "consistently daring" album, writes Times music critic Jon Pareles. "[T]he songs are illuminated from within." Read the complete review at nytimes.com.

    "This entire record is essential listening," raves Stereogum, which gave the US premiere of the album last week. "The Staveley-Taylor sisters possess the kind of voices that make able-bodied writers lose control of their capacity to avoid terms like ethereal, angelic, and otherworldly. They are simply astonishing in tone, harmony, precision, their ability to weave in and around one another like birds dipping and flitting through the sky."

    Following the UK release of If I Was on Atlantic Records last week, the album earned four stars from the Guardian, Daily Mirror, Sun, MusicOMH.

    "The voices are still silken, the sibling harmonies still graceful," says the Guardian of the new album, but with "the music taking thrilling leaps in character and complexity. The Watford sisters’ decision to work with Justin Vernon ... as producer was inspired."

    "This ravishing and inspired, Bon Iver-produced second album from Watford wonder siblings Emily, Jessica and Camilla Stavely-Taylor raises the stakes," says the Daily Mirror's Gavin Martin. The album "is effected with astonishing vocals ... an unfailingly tender touch, freshness and natural warmth. Spring has sprung."

    "The second album from the three harmony-perfect Staveley-Taylor sisters is a startling transformation from the indie folk of their debut to something altogether more grown-up," says the Sun, citing "a lushness to the production and an intricacy to the songwriting."

    There’s a new, easy confidence about the band on the record," writes MusicOMH's John Murphy in a four star review; "the harmonies are still there, but this time they’re built around the songs, rather than the other way round. And what songs they are: gorgeous and dramatic, there are moments on If I Was that could positively make you swoon." The closing track, "Sadness Don't Own Me," is "a fitting ending to a stunningly gorgeous-sounding album which should see the three talented sisters move up to a whole new level."

    "The bewitching Staves sisters return with a staggering sophomore album with none other than previous touring pal Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) handling production duties," writes Clash Music's Sam Walker-Smart, giving the album an eight. "Retreating to Vernon's Wisconsin based studio for some good 'ol fashioned artistic isolation, The Staves have emerged with a finely tuned set of twelve tracks that adds weight and scope to their already lovely noise."

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