Braids’ performance promises to be one of Pop Montreal’s most interesting shows. Their upcoming album, Native Speaker, has received nods from both the National Post and the New York Times. It comes out later this fall.
The name “Braids” is a reference to the band’s creative process, which Braids member Raphaelle Standell-Preston calls “an interweaving of ideas.” According to Standell-Preston, the band’s songwriting is a collective process with members building off one another.
This process is perhaps what gives Braids its sound; think Animal Collective with Lykke Li singing. In fact, this isn’t the first time the comparison to Animal Collective has been made. Times critic Jon Caramanica made the connection in his article last August, and Standell-Preston even admitted being influenced by the band to a local music promoter last spring. Braids’ sound is textural, dreamlike, and meandering. Though each song can be up to nine minutes long, they’re all captivating and impossible to turn off. The band claims to get its inspiration from classical musicians. “Classical music pushes its own boundaries in an experimental and non-pretentious way, for the sake of art and nothing else…there was no media, no pitchfork.com in Mozart’s day.”
Standell-Pressman says Braids is excited about their Pop Montreal gigs, which include a surprise performance and a show with Xiu Xiu, who she admires for “…going more of a pop route now, but still taking a step out of the norm.” The Pop shows are just one stop on Braids’ tour through Toronto, New York, and (hopefully) Europe. The three McGill students in the band will be taking the year off to focus on the band, but Standell-Pressman ensures they won’t forget their main fanbase: “They miss McGill and hope to see everyone at the show!”