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Taking a cue from the band’s name, it comes as no surprise that experimental art rockers Braids know a thing or two about interweaving. The Calgary-raised and Montreal-based quartet has laced together meandering melodies, intricate instrumentals and sweeping synths to create the kaleidoscope of sound that is Native Speaker.
 
“Lemonade,” the album’s spirited opener, encapsulates Native Speaker’s fluid and atmospheric nature. Combining dreamy, swirling crescendos with brazen lyrics (“Have you fucked all the stray kids yet?”), “Lemonade” is breezy and refreshing, yet still packs a passionate punch. Lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s vocal stylings express a longing that is simultaneously delicate and urgent, adding another intriguing layer to the feathery—yet slightly ominous—sounds.
 
From the sprightly staccatos of “Plath Heart” to the serene ambiance of the album closer “Little Hand,” Native Speaker swims freely in an open pool of sound. Although reminiscent of Animal Collective’s experimental quirks and Broken Social Scene’s cinematic tendencies, Braids still manages to carve their own cannonball of sound, making a satisfying splash with Native Speaker.  

 

By Hilary Marchildon
Apr 17, 2011

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