Friday, February 11, 2011

Braids - Native Speaker (2011)

When you say experimental and powerful female vocals many people go for the obvious and say Björk, and the people who know better then talk about Dirty Projectors, Glasser, and Animal Collective (including Panda Bear, Avey Tare, and whatever related to this band), such is the case with the debut of Braids, but they are not new in the scene, they started with the name of The Neighborhood Council and then with a change of city and a change of direction they created Braids, so let me talk about the band today and not what the band used to be.

The comparison with other experimental bands is not strange but also the similarities in here are too many, it starts with squeaking sounds very earthy and then starts breaking out of it becoming each time more unnatural, and though is not scary like in the case of Glasser’s Ring, also reminding a lot of the noises that sound in the background of Animal Collective’s work, and being compared to Animal Collective is never a bad thing, but its just that the level of originality that maybe is wanted is not achieved.

Still there are some highlights in the production, I absolutely love the idea of taking nature and take intervention of synths and echoes to convert it in something almost angelical and not so earthy, the track Plath Heart shows at its best the voices and has a very Dirty Projectors atmosphere going on, They take their time in most of the songs, the build is very precious and they don’t get too loud or they don’t do much a wall of sound, but they also take distance from typical dream pop, this LP pushes towards a much more experimental nature and it’s a very refreshing change from what this band was doing before they became Braids, definitely a change for the better for those who are into experimental music. They take the chance of seeing nature and expressing it in sound and in a different way, more like a performance kind of record, the sound has a visual potential and it explotes that.

Now the downside of the project is that though I liked every song I didn’t see originality in any of them, they’re not doing nothing new, they are just proving that when you do what is known to be good and you do it good you can pull off a good record.


1. Lemonade
2. Plath Heart
3. Glass Deers
4. Native Speaker
5. Lammicken
6. Same Mum
7. Little Hand

Rate: 8.2/10

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