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, in early 2011. Later that year, the album was shortlisted for a Polaris Music Award. After contributing to the band's second album, Flourish//Perish, Lee left the group. In June 2013, the In Kind//Amends EP offered the first taste of Braids' more streamlined, electronic-based sound. For 2015's Deep in the Iris, the group recorded in Vermont, upstate New York, and the mountains of Arizona, opting for a more organic sound that highlighted Standell-Preston's vulnerable songwriting. The following year's fittingly named Companion EP, which featured songs written during the Deep in the Iris era, continued in this direction. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi