The Staves unveiled a welcome surprise yesterday, February 23rd: Pine Hollow (Live), a six-track EP. According to their Facebook announcement, they recorded the songs over three nights at the Pine Hollow Studios in Eau Claire, Wis.
The set features three cover songs and three of their own now-classic compositions (from their If I Was and The Way Is Read albums). The first cover is Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago”; the second is Ray LaMontagne’s “Jolene”; and the third is the Dino Valenti-penned Karen Dalton song “Something’s on Your Mind”:
(Speaking of Valenti, one day I’d love to hear the Sisters Staveley-Taylor share their spin on his “Let’s Get Together.”)
Another Pine Hollow highlight is their rendition of “Sadness Don’t Own Me” from If I Was:
“Trouble on My Mind,” originally released on their semi-recent yMusic collaboration, The Way Is Read, is as stunning with a piano as it is with strings.
What’s amazing about the EP: Everything. Their vocals swoop in and out, blend together, intertwine like strands of triple-helix DNA, and cushion a wearied soul like few others. My only criticism, and it’s not really a criticism: six songs just aren’t enough.
(In addition to the usual download outlets, the EP is available on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube.)