Photo Credit: Marc Rimmer

On their debut LP, Native Speaker, Braids invites the listener on a tour into a hazy, sparkling dreamland of sound.

While frequently compared to Animal Collective, the Montreal quartet sets themselves apart with female vocals that are both dainty and abrasive at turns, using rhythm and repetition like devious elves casting spells.  All of the tracks are at least four minutes, some even exceeding eight.  For the most part they start simple, build into a climax of blurred noise, and then spiral down in a completely different direction, adding instruments and tribal nuances you don’t expect and can’t quite place.

When I first came across the opening track, “Lemonade,” on a sampler I couldn’t wait to check out the rest of the LP.  After first listen, however, I was kind of disappointed.  It wasn’t bad, but I had such high hopes.  I wanted to ADORE it.  Fortunately each subsequent spin I found myself falling in love with another track on the record.  After “Lemonade” is was “Plath Heart,” then “Glass Deer” and so forth.  With it’s lithe, uninhibited, spoken word feel, “Plath Heart” eventually surpassed the rest as my favorite.

Los Angeles, you won’t want to miss their show on Saturday March 5th at the Troubadour with Baths and Gobble Gobble. Buy tickets here.

Braids “Plath Heart”