Eleven comments on this month’s new releases from The Staves, Lana Del Rey, & more.
This month is all about the females, and the latest efforts from these two darlings are worth your listen and pocket cash.
The Staves- Mexico EP (Warner UK)
Okay, so this was released back in November, but The Staves, who opened for The Civil Wars at The Pageant on Sunday evening, most likely escaped your radar last year.
This trio of sisters from Watford, England, centralizes on simplicity: gorgeous vocal harmonies and soft guitar. It’s familiar sounding, but in a nighttime lullaby that never gets old kind of way. Think Laura Marling or Fleet Foxes (minus the testosterone and their infamous batshit trumpet solo).
“Mexico”, the title track and gem of this three-track EP, showcases The Staves’ in their prime, strong song-writing and emotive vocals. As they harmonize on the line “I want to see the colors of another sky”, The Staves epitomize universal winter woes. For just a brief moment, the comfort of spring is in sight.
Lana Del Rey- Lana Del Rey EP (Interscope)
Who is Lana Del Rey?
Is she a major label creation, the next best thing, the biggest SNL trainwreck since Ashlee Simpson? Or is she all of the above? Regardless, after just six months and over 19 million YouTube views later, Lana Del Rey’s haunter of a romance ballad, “Video Games”, has her in the national spotlight.
So far, her recordings deliver. Del Rey’s sound is distinctive; a pairing of old-Hollywood meets modern R&B. On “Born to Die”, she sings over a blend of strings, electronic beats, and a hip-hop vocal sample. Similarly, LDR’s vocals are all over the place. “Blue Jeans” finds her shifting from a deep soprano to a nasally alto to a full-fledged falsetto.
But these bipolar tunes are as sonically attractive as her glamour shots splattered on every other music publication and buzz blog. Say what you will, but don’t count Lana Del Rey out so early in the game. Her full-length Born to Die is out today.
Also recommended: Kathleen Edwards- Voyageur (Maple Music/Rounder), Chairlift- Something (Columbia)