As they jump into more pop territory from any of their previous releases (and even side-projects for that matter), the band bring all their ambitious ideas to the mix. Much to the band’s credit, they make it quite easy to want to sing along with these tracks early on where it can take months of listens to other artists.

The raw honesty to “Collarbones” reflect the manufactured ways we represent ourselves across dating apps and social media wit h a truthfew want to admit. Raphaelle Standell– Preston’s words go from coy and shockingly honest to gripping and real within moments.

The way she’s able to swing any little vocal hook into a totally new energy throughout the song keeps every word interesting and endlessly satisfying as you hear Standell-Preston seemingly gain confidence in herself.

 

 

After so much sonic exploration, hearing Braids take a more traditional melodic approach while stretching their production is immensely exciting.

By sticking to simple cores in their writing, the songs are held together by catchy moments while being able to play around with so much more in that.

Standell-Preston’s vocals are also the most rich and powerful they’ve been in years, while still endlessly versatile to the point you may not immediately recognize these as Braids songs. It’s in their ability to turn a simple piano ballad to a sprawling electronic landscape of sounds however that keeps this smaller release such a fun and repeatable listen.

AS OUR SOCIAL LIVES DIVE INTO TECHNOLOGY MORE AND MORE, IT’S STILL SHOCKINGLY RARE THAT OUR MUSIC PROPERLY REFLECTS THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS.

Though Braids does surround something like “Burdock & Dandelion” in a grimy, industrial aesthetic, Standell-Preston’s vocal hooks anchor the song’s with an addictive pop core. It’s also interesting here to find them critiquing the assumption-driven living many people go by despite how easy it is to connect these days.

Despite the wonder in Standell- Preston at the out set of the song, she quickly goes on the attack for a song that questions peoples need toquestion, and the song evolves around her with it.

Their hook-oriented writing also allows this stream-of-consciousness lyrical style to flow as the track changes without ever feeling disconnected. Though this latest album is certainly more focused and overtly poppy than much of Braids’ previous work, the band really find a way to be themselves and be memorable while doing it.

Through fearless lyricism and a sonic palette that can transform at any time, Braids have made some truly ground-breaking music for both themselves and our social world.