Monday, 29 April 2013

Track Review: Braids - Amends

Canada's brilliantly in tune indie pop/art pop turned dream pop, turned... electronic; are back with their sophomore album, still yet to be named in the media. The lead single / first track taken from their album is "Amends", a dauntingly electric track that is both guitar-less and Katie Lee-less. Debut album Native Speaker was released in 2011 to widespread acclaim. It managed to be shortlisted for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, however lost out to Arcade Fire. Braids' live performance can be summed up as a timeless loop of dream pop with literary references being bellowed out of Raphaelle Standell-Preston's mouth. The trio have embarked on a journey through time with their music, and now it's time for them to take that next step from the looped dream pop / indie pop world to the almost precarious digital age. 

"Amends" sounds nothing like anything on Native Speaker, so if you were expecting louder, faster "Lemonade", then wipe the thought of that from your brain. Braids are maturing with their sound, keeping the dreamy ethereal vocals and effects, utilising the beauty of Standell-Preston's high pitched voice. There's an electronic beat ripping through the track, with synthesizers instead of a looped guitar. Quite extraordinary, "Amends" is more than likely a keyboard track / electronics, and the role of Lee seems to have either been picked up by a so called computer, or the male percussion pair of Taylor Smith and Austin Tufts. Album number two will be a contrasting difference to Native Speaker. It’s a difference many fans won't like, and you can see why given the magnitude of Braids' debut album two years ago. Keep your eyes peeled for more Braids tracks in the near future, this seems like it could be a generous year for the Canadians.