If you’re like me, you might have noticed the sudden rise of folk artists over the past year and it’s no wonder why. Writing acoustic, simple songs allows more musicians to be recognized for true talent, not over mass-produced pop that can be made to sound perfect in a recording studio. You can’t hide much behind an acoustic guitar and a mic. Particularly noteworthy are indie female trios. As examples, I’ll be highlighting The Staves and Stealing Sheep. I was lucky enough to see both of these bands live within the last month in London and I can tell you that the audience is feeding off of these intimate sessions; each girl with their instrument and voice that has the power to lure you in and hang on tight.
The Staves are an acoustic trio of sisters from Watford (suburban North London) who just released their debut album Dead & Born & Grown. Starting out playing covers at open mic nights in Watford, they soon started writing their own songs when Camilla Staveley-Taylor was only 15. In 2011, the Staveley-Taylor sisters signed with Atlantic records but refused to be lumped in with Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling, just because their styles were similar. They recently opened for Bon Iver at the South By Southwest Festival in Texas, and it’s clear that The Staves are out to make a genre of their own featuring three part harmonies, vagabond lyrics and a dreamlike, ethereal mood to their music. They’re currently on their first US Headline tour until 23rd June 2013. If The Staves sound like they’d float your boat check out their EP Facing West on iTunes. Also, don’t miss one of their shows if they’re coming to your town. You won’t be disappointed.
On Sunday night, I made my way to London’s O2 Brixton Academy. Currently on tour with The Postal Service, Stealing Sheep are a Liverpudlian trio of hazy folktronica. Blending synthesized keyboard, tribal drums and mystical harmonies, their album Diamond Sun by Heavenly Recordings has made a splash amongst indie folk lovers here in the UK. It’s a great feeling when you’re impressed by the support act so much that you feel like you want to share their music straight away with all of your friends, to get their name out there. And that’s exactly how I felt with Stealing Sheep. They’re a great festival type band as they draw all sorts of people to their music and have an infectious, fun-loving spirit. Stealing Sheep have a medieval, pagan vibe that’s especially apparent on tracks like Shut Eye. Their psychedelic feel makes them reminiscent of The Doors or Janis Joplin, while their wistful vocals and pop girl lyrics remind us of the Go-Go’s – easily accessible to the masses.
Check out their Abbey Road recording session!
Get your folk on this summer – why not add these chicks to your playlist?