“Everything’s changing, and it feels so right this time.”
Calgary-born, if Montréal-based BRAIDS, as a band, have since their début endeavour, Native Speaker, become a primarily, when not completely electronic proposition. That said, the newly slim-lined trio comprising Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith continue to function as exactly that – a band. Familiar in composition, if unorthodox in practice, such is their nonpareil manipulation of all manner of outré instrumentation – snazzy pads and malletKATs, mainly – that they’re able to remain both reassuringly recognisable of form, if still truly alien of execution.
Sophomore full-length Flourish // Perish was, by Standell-Preston’s own admission, composed “not in a live environment, so it was written on the computer, rather than through playing.” Nonetheless, on the evidence of the below footage of the trio reciting a previously unreleased number entitled 13 in a particularly intimate KEXP studio, the Canadians are overtly capable of laying down their tracks any which way. Indeed, the video clearly demonstrates just how dextrous they’ve each become, Tufts switching from a glitchy electronic kit to cymbals and snares rather seamlessly midway through. Smith, meanwhile, defies convention, as does his instrument, as his expression positively exudes pain and emotion – sensations not traditionally renowned of those more electronically oriented genres. Standell-Preston then delivers lyrics of bleeding lawns, hidden amidst similarly oneiric imagery, and as the song steadily builds to its sumptuously heady conclusion, it becomes pretty apparent that 13 must be filed amongst their finest to date. A sign of ever brighter times yet to come, this band really can do no wrong.
Flourish // Perish is out now on Full Time Hobby.