Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Braids have me tied up in knots

Back when they were known as the Neighborhood Council, I had the good fortune of participating in a late-night recording session with vocalist/guitarist Raphaelle Standell-Preston (along with Mark Andrew Hamilton of Woodpigeon and Mike Hanson of These Hands). Since that time, Standell-Preston and the rest of her band have moved from Calgary to Montreal and changed their name to Braids.

I'm pretty certain the name change followed a sonic shift and not the other way around, but as to whether the music Braids makes could have been birthed in Calgary or is the direct result of their relocation I can't say. Regardless what's done is done and we have the recorded result on their full length debut Native Speaker (out January 18th on Flemish Eye).

The songs are complexly layered soundscapes that don't sound difficult or inaccessible - in fact they're willfully catchy, engaging songs that only reveal their depths on repeated listens. And repeated listens won't be a problem since one pass at Native Speaker won't be enough

The band is streaming the album in its entirety at Hype Machine and you can download "Plath Heart" and "Lemonade" courtesy of Killbeat Music.

Teen Daze has remixed "Glass Deers" and it's floating around the interweb as of today (which actually prompted this post). Strong work by both parties, and it hints at what kinds of directions Native Speaker can be taken in beyond the far-reaching sound of the album itself.

Be sure to check out Braids' Myspace page and blog.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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