Braids, Native Speaker
Multi-layered, atmospheric and blessed with an ethereal beauty
Formed two years ago around the talents of photogenic singer-guitarist Raphaelle Standell-Preston and keyboardist Katie Lee, Braids' debut shows all the ambition you'd expect of a band who, at 18, abandoned their native Calgary, Alberta, to try their luck in the creative hub of Montreal. If the wide open spaces of their hometown can be heard in the sonic sweep of "Glass Dears" and "Lammicken," the experimental feel (two of the seven tracks are more than eight minutes long) suggests this youthful quartet have been paying close attention to the avant-rock of Panda Bear and Animal Collective, as well as the creative spirit of their adopted home.
Signaling her intentions with the line "What I have found is that we're all just sleeping around" in opener "Lemonade," Standell-Preston is a cheeky, sexually uninhibited guide through an ethereal sonic whirlpool of shimmering guitar parts, ambient interludes and pulsing synths where a strong pop current lurks just beneath the surface. Multi-layered, atmospheric and blessed with an ethereal beauty reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins , Native Speaker serves as proof Braids know that great pop is all about surrendering to the moment.