Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jul 25th 2010 11:00AM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Trying to keep track of rising Montreal indie-rock quartet Braids can be a bit like embarking on some sort of treasure hunt. For starters, they used to be a different band entirely. And they happened to live in a different city at the time. Confused yet? Well, the co-ed dream-popsters (two boys, two girls) started life as hyped Calgary act The Neighbourhood Council before all four friends picked up and moved to la belle province in 2008 and were reborn as Braids.
While the band hasn't so much as diverted from their atmospheric, quirky pop sound as simply honed it further, it's clear their new environs have inspired them to take their sound to the next level -- they've been embraced by the Montreal indie scene to the point where they were one of the few acts chosen last year to be filmed by noted French videoblog La Blogotheque during Pop Montreal.
But Montreal isn't the only place the band's doing well -- Braids have been garnering strong word of mouth by touring across North America, and the blogosphere is falling all over itself to praise their left-field take on indie-pop even though the band hasn't even released its debut album yet.
If the tracks they've released thus far are any indication, Braids' forthcoming full-length, 'Native Speaker' (due in October), is bound to build on the template of tuneful melodies mussed-up with fuzzy electronics they've established thus far.
While all four members add in vocals as the songs see fit, it's Raphaelle Standell-Preston's turn on the mic on this gorgeously gauzy live version of 'Lemonade' that really turns heads (ears?). The keys ripple underneath Standell-Preston's ethereal coo like a burbling stream until the percussion picks up as the vocals follow suit and become increasingly insistent before trailing off entirely and fading out on a sea of distortion.
While it may have become almost cliché to dub an emerging act "original," Braids' charm lies in the fact that they truly sound like few other bands out there. 'Lemonade' serves as a rather refreshing example of their unique approach by offering a distinctively playful bent and commendable willingness to experiment. Perhaps further proof that the Montreal scene continues to nurture burgeoning talent in a particularly inimitable way.
Download: Braids, 'Lemonade (Live at CJSW)' (MP3)
Braids play the Lake Stage at 3PM on Sunday, July 25 as part of the Hillside Festival.