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Native Speaker

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iTunes Review

This Montreal-by-way-of-Calgary quartet makes music not quite like anything currently on the indie pop horizon (though Warpaint and Toro y Moi simmering in a slow cooker comes to mind). Intriguing contradictions abound: the music is intimate yet gurgles with electronic blips and at times exudes an austere spareness. Some tracks have delicate, gauzy trappings, while wild-girl lyrics belie lead vocalist Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s doe-eyed aura. “Lemonade” opens with a mesmerizing sound montage that includes something akin to a babbling brook, the call of a conch shell, and Philip Glass–like keyboard patterns. Multilayered vocals and echoey atmospherics at first provide a canvass, then morph into a powerful surge with Standell-Preston’s voice circling like a dervish. You won’t find traditional song structures and easy melodies here, yet the pulsing tones, sound effects, loops, and instrumental voices never sound so far from the pop realm that they become something else. Quite an impressive debut from a bunch of kids who can’t yet buy beer in the U.S. of A.

Customer Reviews

Un 1er album fabuleux!

Un premier album fabuleux pour ce groupe de Montréal. J’ai vraiment hâte de voir ça en spectacle! Une maturité et une richesse sonore, Ça plane, ça groove, ça électrocute le cerveau, ça rend dépendant. Un album impeccable du début à la fin! L’année 2011 démarre sur le bon pied!


It's a bit like Animal Collective, only with girls. It's decent, I like the remixes, especially the Glass Deers one.

Superb Work

Braids' Native Speaker is superb from start to finish. It's such a breath of fresh air - the way the songs are structured, the interplay of the guitar, drums and keyboard, and the lead singer's incredible voice. It all meshes into a compelling sound. I can't stop listening to it. I just love it!


Formed: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Canadian indie rock/shoegaze ensemble Braids made noisy, somewhat experimental pop that owed a heavy debt to various shoegaze bands of the '90s. Featuring the talents of keyboardist Raphaelle Standell-Preston, guitarist Katie Lee, guitarist Taylor Smith, and drummer Austin Tufts, Braids originally started out as the Calgary-based band the Neighborhood Council. The four-piece released an EP before relocating to Montreal and changing its name. Braids released their debut full-length album, Native Speaker,...
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Native Speaker, Braids
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Customer Ratings