Record #327: BRAIDS – Deep in the Iris (2015)

Montreal art-pop group BRAIDS hasn’t really gotten their dues. Their hype ran high with their debut Native Speaker, traipsed joyfully between manic, loop heavy indie pop and almost post-rock ballads.

Its follow up, Flourish//Perish, released fresh on the departure of their keyboardist, was a far more subdued affair, dwelling mostly in ambient electronica. It was beautiful, but not as pixie-devilish as anticipations demanded.

And so their third record, Deep in the Iris was released to almost no fanfare. As a BRAIDS fan, I only stumbled upon it by accident (and ignored it for a few months). Which is a shame, because with a hype machine behind it, this record could have been a huge hit.

Rather than retreading either prior albums, BRAIDS finds a way to mix the soft atmospherics of Flourish//Perish with Native Speaker’s unhinged energy.

For example, listen to the third track “Blondie,” whose structure is built on a wash of swelling keyboard chords paired with starting and stopping breakbeats. Anti-slutshaming anthem “Miniskirt” starts as a low piano led ballad before the drums and synths turn it into a dance track.

​Given that they’ve always done both sides of their sound well, it’s good to see them here expertly combining them to create some truly engaging songs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s