After listening to their most recent album, it was a nice trip back to their origins to return to The Waifs first album. "The Waifs" is the self-titled debut album which was released in May of 1996, and it is a much more straight-forward folk effort then their recent "Sundirtwater", and as such it builds a strong foundation for what the group has become. I think most people who appreciate their current sound, will also enjoy listening to this album, even though the two are quite different.
All the tracks on this album are worth hearing, and several can be picked as highlights. My personal favorites are "Take It In", "Gillian", "Intimate", "Jealously", "Billy Jones", "Brain Damage", and "Company". It is saying something when over half the tracks immediately come to mind when thinking about which are the best on the album. Even with such a long list of the best, I can easily say that even those that I didn't list have their merits and it seems like some get better every time I listen to the album.
The Waifs are from Western Australia and consist of Josh Cunningham (guitar, mandola); and the sisters Donna Simpson (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Vikki Simpson (vocals, guitar, harmonica, tin whistle). They are joined by Jen Anderson (violin, mandolin), Archie Cuthbertson (percussion), and Mark Aspland (percussion). Josh wrote about half the tracks on the album, but all three contributed multiple songs to the album.