Braids at the Horseshoe

Chatty crowd drowns out three-piece’s big, textured sound


BRAIDS at the Horseshoe, Thursday, May 14. Rating: NNN

One of experimental art rockers Braids’ many strengths is their ability to produce a larger, more textured sound than the average three-piece. Lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston chatted up the crowd before opening with a lush rendition of Letting Go, which also opens new album Deep In The Iris. It immediately established their patient approach, which allows time for each song to build. 

Bassist Taylor Smith and drummer Austin Tufts were mixed a little too loudly at times, drowning out Standell-Preston. And the relentless chatter of the crowd prevented songs like Taste from getting a fair chance. (We’d love to hear the layered tunes at a place like Massey Hall.) Many a band would move mountains to play the Horseshoe, but Braids’ sound is bigger than the confines of that venue.

Happy When saw Standell-Preston slowly sing the intro, but the chatters continued to drown out one of the few, glorious moments she had alone in the spotlight. The band stuck entirely to songs from their new record, and you have to commend them for it. Instead of throwing casual fans a bone with older singles, they kept the focus on delivering a sprawling, engrossing set of strong new material.

music@nowtoronto.com | @joshuakloke

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