Braids are back. The Montreal band have shared two – that’s right, two – singles in one go, and they couldn’t be more different.
First is up is the playful, stomping, “Slayer Moon”, ostensibly the lead of the pair. The band says:
“Slayer Moon is inspired by a Sailor Moon phone case I bought in Tokyo, at 3am while on tour in Japan. Growing up I was obsessed with Sailor Moon, particularly with the ability to magically transform from a normal girl into a full-on mystical and powerful Sailor Scout, battle-ready to combat the evil forces of the world.”
Yet, to this writer’s ears, it’s the second, “2020” which steals the show. A slow burn, constantly building ballad, it begins rather bare, with soft drumming and melancholy piano cloaking singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston like a sullen, woolly blanket. It isn’t to last, coming to nearly a crash by its finale. It’s a fitting “tribute” to a terrible year. On “2020” she says:
“‘2020’ was written sometime in 2017, after a long period of being alone – in an abstract sense of the word – while reaching for fleeting physical closeness. I was with friends, but my heart was lonely and longing for companionship, my body confused with the unfamiliarity of new and shallow encounters. I had been meditating a lot during this time “tracing a line through the centre of my body” – a process of inward-looking that I veer towards when I take the time to sit. I titled the song ‘2020’, in 2020. Revisiting the song’s lyrics through the eyes of our present reality struck a chord with me. I felt as close to the song as when I had first written it. I find that I am asking myself similar questions while in this pandemic, without my friends, my family, my familiar structures.”
Check out the visualizer for “Slayer Moon” below, and you can hear “2020” here, and stay tuned for more from Braids very soon.