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At their most powerful: Braids live in London

26 November 2015, 16:17 | Written by Russell Warfield

Braids’ new instinct for pop hasn’t dulled their ability to create thrilling, ambitious songs.

Tonight (24th November) at the Scala in London, the trio create smart and mesmerising arrangements to back the hooks of their latest record, melding nicely with their artier early material.

It’s hard to pick a standout between the sensational vocal and the live drum work. The range of Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s vocal is arresting – roaring with power at one moment, the lightest touch at the next. And the rhythmic versatility of these songs is fabulous – sudden drum rolls hurtling out of nowhere; peppered with left turn lurches into jazz and outright bombast.

A new song – “about divorce” – strips everything right back to Standell-Preston’s vocal and a smattering of electronics, showcasing her ability to be tender as well as textural. It hints at a further move towards songs as songs, rather than soundscapes, but without compromising their inventiveness. Closing ‘Miniskirt’ is a perfect example of this – bringing together everything they do well, in their most powerful package to date.


Happy When
Sore Eyes
Bunny Rose
Plath Heart
Warm Like Summer

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