Published: Feb 24, 2012
The year has started on a high note for The Staves, who have been signed by Atlantic Records and tipped for success in 2012 by the Guardian.
Fronted by LIPA graduate Jessica Staveley-Taylor, the band are also showcasing their music this month at HMV Next Big Thing festival and, in March, at South by Southwest in Texas, US.
Furthermore, they are an iTunes tip for 2012 and are currently touring the UK and Ireland with Michael Kiwanuka, who topped the BBC's Sound of 2012 list.
“It’s all very exciting,” enthused Jessica, who performs with sisters Emily and Camilla. “Being tipped for good things this year is really flattering, especially coming from the Guardian and HMV, but we try not to listen to any of that and just get on with it.”
On the contract with Atlantic Records, on whose label they will this year release a new, self-titled album, she said: “Signing was a big deal for us. Having always done everything ourselves it was a big decision to enter into a contract with a label – there are obligations and responsibilities that come with it – but they really share our vision and are incredibly supportive and sympathetic of what we do.”
The Staves, whose close harmony style draws comparisons to that of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, were recipients of a £2,500 Development Award at the 2009 Musicians Benevolent Fund Songwriting Awards Showcase Final, open to acts from UK colleges and universities.
On her time at LIPA, 2010 BA (Hons) Music graduate Jessica commented: “LIPA is great as it fosters an environment in which creativity happens, which isn’t an easy thing to do. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by such a varied group of musicians from all parts of the world, and to have access to the facilities.
“LIPA is connected to the industry, so when I felt I needed a lawyer it was through LIPA that I met ours, Ann Harrison, who helped me navigate some of the more intricate aspects of the game.”
From Watford but with Liverpool roots, the guitar and ukulele-playing sisters have performed together since childhood. They describe their forthcoming album as “a very honest representation of what we do" and one that has "come together very naturally”.
In January there were in the US supporting singer-songwriter duo The Civil Wars. Jessica commented: “They are doing really well out there and won two Grammys. The crowds were great and very supportive of us. The highlight was playing at the Ryman theatre in Nashville – it was a thrill to play at such a historic venue."
Watch The Staves' Guardian interview
From the left, Jessica, Emily, and Camilla Staveley-Taylor. Photograph by Rebecca Miller.