Tuesday 11 August 2020

LISTEN: The Staves - 'Nazareth'

My first real introduction to The Staves was seeing them perform a secret set in a wine bar at my first Bushstock Festival back in 2015. The intimate setting, the fact that we'd just seen Alex Vargas and Nick Mulvey play and Nick telling me and a friend (in an apologetically freaking out way) that friend of The Staves, none other than actual Justin Vernon (!!!!) was upstairs, made for a real atmosphere of excitement. Turns out I was really really lucky to be in the room for that set, it was stunning. The sisterly harmonies are something to behold. 

They'd not long released their second record If I Was at the time, and they brought out a collaborative EP with yMusic in 2017, but things have been quiet on the Staves front since. Outside of the band, however, they've been very busy bees. A lockdown podcast, an adorable baby and vocals on music from the lieks of Christof van der Ven, Bon Iver, Lucy Rose, Paul Weller, Flyte & more..... you get the picture: they're in high demand, and rightly so. 

Nazareth is the first new music from the trio in a while, and it has all the elements that you'd expect from a Staves track. Self-produced by Jessica, Camilla and Emily, it is a thing of wonder. Seriously beautiful. 

On the track, the band explains that "we recorded Nazareth in one take on a field recorder sat outside the studio in the summer of 2018. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. We tried recording it in the studio but just kept coming back to this version. It seemed to have the magic. The song was intended to be in the spirit of an Irish blessing or a kind of a prayer, asking to be kept safe - but it pretty quickly became a more personal and introspective lyric. Moments of glory quickly faded. Worrying, trying. How we mean everything and nothing at the same time. To everyone, to no-one.”

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