2011 | CD / LP | FLCR022
NOW BACK ON VINYL!! ‘Native Speaker’ came out 10 years ago this month. To celebrate, we’re doing a limited edition LP pressing: original designer Marc Rimmer has updated the package with a high gloss record cover and a new lyric sleeve complemented by eye-popping coloured vinyl.
An astonishingly accomplished debut from a young band, Native Speaker laid out some of Braids' core interests, including a meticulous attention to sonic detail and a rhythmic curiosity. As their later discography would reveal, this debut also set the course for a great deal of growth, change, and an ever-evolving sonic identity.
- Plath Heart
- Glass Deers
- Native Speaker
- Same Mum
- Little Hand
With their debut Native Speaker, the young members of Braids have created an album that transcends both their age and geographic location. Raphaelle Standell-Preston (lead vocals, guitar), Austin Tufts (drums, vocals), Katie Lee (keys, vocals), and Taylor Smith (guitar, bass, vocals) have distilled their individual output into the minute, minimalist parts and then generated all of their collective sounds into a sweeping, synergistic maelstrom. Meticulously produced by the band, Native Speaker emerges as an extremely potent concoction of playful, lavishly orchestrated, and deeply cinematic pieces – all without a sample in sight.
The album oscillates between textural density and heavenly spaciousness to construct an unforgettable pop tune. “Lemonade”, the opening track, gently nudges and softly beckons the listener into an expansive, feathery space. It is this particular atmospheric warmth, paired with Standell-Preston’s undeniably emotional, sassy, and truly evocative vocal style, that envelops the listener into the patiently paced, seven-song cycle of Native Speaker.
“Plath Heart” contrasts tripwire rhythm with the elaborate melody to push and pull the listener through an array of emotions. “Glass Deers” consistently challenges and rewards throughout its eight minutes of detailed layering of melodic vocal and instrumental phrases, and “Lammicken” sensually pulsates to Standell-Preston’s hypnotic vocal line, while ribbons of stretched sounds comfortably weave between layered voices.
The band started working on 'Native Speaker' in Montreal in September 2009. The recording of the album was completed during the winter of 2010.
The album was self-produced, although not due to its low budget. "It was primarily for creative control. None of us had recorded before so it took a really long time to get it right – about nine months", the singer explained.
Raphaelle Standell-Preston – guitar, lead vocals
Katie Lee – keyboard, vocals
Austin Tufts – drums, vocals
Taylor Smith – bass, guitar, samples, percussion, vocals
Sebastian Cowan – mixing
Harris Newman – mastering
Marc Rimmer – design, visuals
Native Speaker is the kind of debut that gets hailed as "the beginning of…" years down the road.
EXCLAIM! (“MARK OF EXCELLENCE”)
It’s every bit as mesmerizing and vertiginous as desire can be.
NEW YORK TIMES
It is near flawless.
Somebody please take this record away from me. I can’t stop listening to it.
GLOBE AND MAIL, 4/5 STARS
MONTREAL MIRROR, 8.5/10
The year’s first truly outstanding record.
EYE WEEKLY, 5 STARS
Native Speaker is assured and impressive.
Smooth on the outside, savage within.
SPIN MAGAZINE, 8/10
Stunningly assured and accomplished debut