Listen: Braids - "Lemonade"


Braids are a Canadian art-rock band that released their debut album, Native Speaker, back in January.  The album is already garnering a lot of critical acclaim and I can definitely see why.  The band have a sound that's both fresh and familiar to anyone who has heard Animal Collective's 2005 album, Feels.

The band recreates the sound that AC had on that excellent album with their own spin.  One thing that sets them apart from AC is that they have a female singer.  They also have a more electronic take on the grooving, tribal sounds of Feels, and their lyrics tend to be even weirder than AC in some ways.

Lead singer Raphelle Standal-Preston says pretty basic sentiments with really strange words that seem to be chosen for the way they sound and the images they invoke (she also likes to say "fuck").  She tries to flow with each song's groove in the way a rapper would over a beat, but obviously you can't rap to songs like these, so she's more singing rhythmically and sounding like a mix of Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley/Jenny & Johnny fame) and Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

As an Animal Collective fan, I got into this band on first listen.  I like that they are basing their sound on one of my favorite AC albums.  It's a sound that, surprisingly, no one has really tried to replicate (successfully, at least) in the six years since Feels was released, and Braids really develop it into something all their own.  I would also recommend them to fans of Arcade Fire, The National, Beach House and other indie rock bands of the epic variety.

The first song on Native Speaker, "Lemonade", is an epic, sprawling song that is the best introduction to their sound.  Listen to it below.

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