Ahead of their anticipated new album ‘Euphoric Recall’ releasing this Friday (28 April, via Secret City Records), Canadian art rock band BRAIDS have dropped a new single called “Lucky Star”.
Unfolding slowly over ambient whirs and acoustic riffs, “Lucky Star” radiates an intimate melancholy with lyrics that project longingly across the chords like a slow-motion punk song. Speaking about the track, Braids’ Raphaelle Standell-Preston says:
“”Lucky Star” came together in pieces over a long span of time. Its inception began on a very cold winter night after having taken some months from writing…it’s not the easiest to write music during Montreal’s unforgiving winter. We sat down in our studio, with the space heater on high, and plugged the mic in and turned the speakers on. Taylor showed me a beautiful synth loop he had been working on, the lyrics and melody poured out of me quickly, it was one of those first take moments, as are most of the takes on ‘Euphoric Recall’. I put the mic down and asked Taylor to close the project, I didn’t want to listen back. We packed up, satisfied that we had put something down on the page and walked through the snow back to our homes. When spring came we opened up the project again. The winter blues had come and gone, and Montreal was feeling electric with having survived another winter. “Lucky Star” started in the dark and ended in the light. It reminds me of all the different moments we move through as individuals. Nothing is ever linear.”
Braids have teased several other songs from ‘Euphoric Recall’ to date, including “Apple,” a bubbling“shoegaze love song” (Consequence) and “Evolution”, a clear eyed and calm banger that Brooklyn Vegancalled “a quietly propulsive track whose dialled-in lyrics allow the electronics to shine”. The album’s first single “Retriever” is also out now, a luscious and meandering 9-minute journey that Stereogum raved “builds and glides over an expansive runtime,” while Exclaim! stated “the song is a sleek, bubbling odyssey that incorporates delicate drum machines and waves of metallic guitar”.
A freer and wholly new effort, ‘Euphoric Recall’ finds the trio abandoning strategy, burning it down, and realising their love record. Love, all of it; the unbound bliss, the budding impulses, and the messy imperfections, a supernova swirled up in a suite of bold, melodic, symphonic pop songs surrendered to the present. The complexity of love and healing is not a new subject for Braids, but the vantage from which they see and sense it here is. Standell-Preston’s lyrics draw generously from her heart space, often writing on the spot, in just a few takes. Lines are vivid, exhilarating, and evocative, a directness indicative of fully knowing oneself and engaging the moment. As songs emerged, the rhythms and textures became brighter and looser, brimming with life.
Written, recorded, self-produced, and mixed at their Montréal studio, the music of ‘Euphoric Recall’ is both unrushed and urgent, lush yet captured with in-the-room clarity. Elements weave in and out, shading a rich universe without crowding it. Tufts brought a sharpened ear to sessions after producing records for Devon Welsh, Tess Roby, and others, sensing what songs needed from his drums, be it subtle balance or cathartic, jazz-inflected fills. Smith arrived from the depths of solo experiments and studio work, an ever-thorough multi-instrumentalist and sound designer with a renewed feel for fun and a move-forward mindset. Along with the album’s thematic sensuality, Standell-Preston carried the pulse of her club-minded project, Blue Hawaii, adding to their shared desire for new material to groove more viscerally.
Formed in 2007 in Alberta, Braids have solidified a decade-long reputation for their musical ingenuity and established themselves as one of Canada’s most acclaimed art rock bands, garnering two Polaris Prizeshortlists and winning the 2016 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year. With Standell-Preston’s vocals as the pillar of their sound, Braids weave organic and electronic elements together amidst a lyrical landscape that is intimate, explosive, and emotionally-immersive. They have supported or toured with artists such as Future Islands, Toro Y Moi, The Antlers, Wye Oak, Purity Ring, and Friendly Fires along with festival appearances around the world including Glastonbury, Primavera, Osheaga, Hopscotch, and SXSW. Across four full-length studio releases, their music has earned widespread critical acclaim from Pitchfork, The New York Times, The Fader, Consequence, Stereogum, Exclaim!, The Line of Best Fit, Uncut, and Clash Magazine among many others.
Braids also recently announced their first round of tour dates of 2023, a limited performance series that will feature string ensemble accompaniment. It’ll include several dates in Canada, their first US shows in over four years, plus a one-off London date at King’s Place in October.
Braids – ‘Euphoric Recall’ String Ensemble – UK Dates
06/10 – London, UK @ Kings Place Hall One – TICKETS
BRAIDS – NEW SINGLE: “LUCKY STAR”
WATCH VIDEO HERE
NEW ALBUM – ‘EUPHORIC RECALL’
OUT TOMORROW / 28 APRIL, VIA SECRET CITY RECORDS
PRE-ORDER/PRE-SAVE EUPHORIC RECALL
‘Euphoric Recall’ – Track Listing
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