Braids - Flourish/Perish
Braids are an Art Rock band from Canada whose lead singer is Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Blue Hawaii, but apart from the beautiful crafted melodies and song-writing, the differences really end there. Their sound from the first album has changed slightly, maybe taking on a little more Blue Hawaii, but I think I’m alright with that. The album is really a calming, is slightly drawn out journey. It meanders like a river, it flows with grace and it has a majestic beauty to it at points. The atmospheric intro to “Hossak”, a song that has the lyric, “A boy is knocking at my window, with a slice of pizza and acid in his tum tum.” The lyrics are always delivered so delicately that they gain a mystical appearance almost. However, the album can loose itself in all its dreamy qualities. The album can feel dragged down, it can linger to long, a tablespoon of sugar too much. Saying this though, the album does have some really good moments on it. The second half of “Ebben” is fantastic, not to say that the first half isn’t, but the second half just rises upwards dynamically and brings life into the song, into the album; it brings dimension into the music, a dimension that the vocals have already had throughout the album. And then, there is the album’s closer “In Kind” which is a painting of a sprawling dream scape played out for your enjoyment. Everything about this is great: the warmth of Raphaelle’s voice, the quality of the drumming and the synths just seem to work off of each other really well. It feels like all album we have been trying to reach this place, and finally at the album’s climax, we have arrived. Overall the album is beautiful, despite being dragged down by length of some songs and some ideas that can become stay, but it’s still worth a listen.