It’s a common problem encountered by musicians. Writing that difficult second album, referred to as a syndrome in its own right, is a daunting prospect for any artist, especially if they have experienced runaway success with their debut.

Maintain the hype and keep your fans with a blistering follow-up, or watch it all fall apart as you’re remembered as nothing more than a one hit wonder.

But for Watford band The Staves, made up of sisters Emily, Camilla and Jessica Staveley-Taylor, writing their as yet untitled new album, set to be released later this year, has been “plain sailing“.

“The fear is, you get asked by the label to make and an album and all you’ve done for the last year is tour, so you’ve got nothing to write about,“ says Emily. “But that didn’t happen for us. We had all these ideas, but because we were on the road, we never had the time to write. So when the time came, it was a very necessary thing we needed to do. In fact it became very cathartic; we all had a lot of things we were dealing with at the time.“

That’s not to say the album is by any means a “road album“, although touring does feature.

“I imagine touring features in everyone’s albums,“ laughs Emily, “but being on the road for so long has allowed us to contemplate a lot of experiences from the distant past to memories and recent things. You need to explore that in music.

“And being away from home. That’s been a huge thing and all of our relationships have changed with our friends, family and boyfriends.

“When you’re not there and you’ve missed birthdays, weddings, Christmases, it’s very difficult to maintain relationships that you took for granted before. It becomes a case of what does it mean to be in love? What does it mean to be alone? What does it mean to be in a relationship if you’re never with them? This album covers a lot of those questions, and there’s a bit of heartbreak in there.

“But ultimately it is positive, it’s about letting go of the unresolved anger issues you carry around with you, the argument you wish you’d had, letting it all go and being free of your baggage.

"It’s been therapeutic, to make these songs, to say the least.“

The group , who made considerable ripples in the music industry with their folk rock debut album Dead & Born & Grown, retreated to Wisconsin to record their second, to the home of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who has produced the tracks.

This partnership, a result of the two bands touring together, was kept a closely guarded secret – so much so that even The Staves’ record company had no idea .

“We didn’t want to tell the label because we didn’t want the pressure, we wanted to be free to create, explains Emily.

“At the end of it we might have just hung out for two weeks and not done any music at all, or we might have produced some really weird stuff that we wouldn’t have wanted anyone to hear, ever. But when we got to Wisconsin, these songs just kept pouring out.

“Plus our surroundings really helped. It’s not exactly Bear Grylls , but Justin’s home is in the middle of nowhere, and there was lots of snow so it was difficult to leave the house. But we managed on a diet of beer, cigarettes and pizza. We’re Watford girls, if we can survive the streets of west Watford, we can do anything.“

While writing has come easily to the girls, identifying what genre it falls into is a different matter, with Emily reluctant to proffer anything more than “We might have to leave it up to HMV“, “there are synths“ and “It’s a different Staves, we’ve gone electric!“

In the meantime, while fans eagerly anticipate the release of the second album, the girls are providing a little sample of what’s to come, in the form of their EP – Blood I Bled (the lead track is from the new album) and a series of intimate shows – although Watford is notably absent.

“We need to perform in Watford and we will“, trills Emily, “it’s just something always crops up.

“We’re proud of the fact we’re from here, in America there are people wearing Greetings from Watford, home to The Staves T-shirts, which always makes us miss home.

“But who knows, maybe we’ll come back and do something. We’ll be home for Christmas, so Elton, George Michael, Naughty Boy, Geril Halliwell, you know where we are. It could be the ultimate Watford collaboration.“