2011 | CD / LP | FLCR022
At a super young age of 18 years old, Braids self-recorded their debut album in Canada. The result is 'Native Speaker', with strong shoegaze, pop, electronic, and a bit experimental overtones it sets the mood for a beautiful landscape helping it stand out in today's Pop world.
Braids condense the experience of their youth to capture the essence of being, profoundly universal and erring on the side of art. Listening to Native Speaker is hearing the sound of four kindred spirits intersect gloriously, joyously, and in collective discovery.
- 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 Speakeremerges as an extremely potent concoction of playful, lavishly orchestrated, and deeply cinematic pieces – all without a sample insight.
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