Right before their KEXP in-studio, DJ Cheryl Waters caught the Montreal band BRAIDS in a group hug. It was a sweet moment that defines this young group’s history: vocalist Raphaelle Standell-Preston and drummer Austin Tufts met on the playground at the tender age of twelve; together, they met multi-instrumentalist Taylor Smith in high school. (Appropriately enough, their new touring member Sam is introduced as a “big brother.”) This is a group as tightly intertwined as their moniker alludes to.
Now grown-up, the quartet has just released their second album, the critically-acclaimed Flourish // Perish, which finds the band exploring electronics. In an interview with music blog Nothing But Hope & Passion, Standell-Preston said, “We made up a genre called natural electronica. Natural components making up electronic music. Like the voice and drums, more organic elements combined with electronic. We are very much electronic in the way we composed the last record, using the computer. Aside from the drums and my voice it’s all super synthesized. Natural electronica.”
Excited to translate their intricately-crafted studio album into a live environment, BRAIDS gave an ethereal performance in the KEXP studios, echoing bands like Portishead with their moody melodies punctuated by Standell-Preston’s dynamic soprano vocals. With their talent, creativity, and each other, this is one band that will surely flourish, not perish.