Braids - Native Speaker

By: Amanda Lewis

Braids - Native Speaker

Native Speaker

(Flemish Eye)

SOUNDS LIKE: An ethereal haze with musical interjections - Native Speaker exists in a fever dream state, surrounded by a haze of reverb and punctuated with tribal drumming, clean, bright guitar tracks and pixie-sweet vocals.

Montreal based Braids' debut album, Native Speaker, evokes a number of mental images upon first blush: fairies in the woods, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on opiates, and sparkling dream-sequences filled with smoke and unfamiliar faces all come to mind. There is, however, a great deal more to this album than the haze of reverb and Raphaelle Standell-Preston's pixie-sweet vocals.

Braids create a landscape punctuated with tribal drums and bright guitar tracks and almost piercingly clear keys that are uncharacteristic of the album's fever dream atmosphere. Reverberations of Raphaelle's voice are sometimes replaced with vocal loops. These elements act as spirit guides, leading the listener through the album and safely home.

Many of the tracks on this album, while not necessarily hummable, definitely stand out as some of the most convincingly shoegaze inspired music to come out of Canada in a long time. I would suggest checking out the titular track, as well as Glass Deers and Lemonade to start, but every song on this highly ambient album is worth a full, deep listen.

Video: “Plath Heart“ by Braids

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