BRAIDS’ second album is a notably darker affair than the Alberta band’s debut, 2011’s impressive ‘Native Speaker’.
Gone are the guitars and the sprawling Animal Collective-isms, replaced with (generally) tighter, shorter songs and a stark electronic palette.
Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s voice remains the star of the show, of course. Like Thom Yorke or Björk, she’s always distinctive, even when mangled and cut-up on tracks like ‘Amends’.
The whole album is suffused in a gentle melancholy, but it’s not a downbeat record. Instead, there are moments of true beauty and tranquillity (notably the back-to-back pairing of ‘Hossak’ and ‘Girl’) alongside the intricate production. A rewarding evolution for the band.
Words: Will Salmon
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