Braids' "Companion EP"
Just barely a year old, Braids last full length release Deep In The Iris was a pleasant update to their discography. The album showcased how a band can evolve its sound without changing its scope, and offer us so much more. As one of my favorite albums of 2015, it was a surprise to me to hear that Companion EP was to be released this year, within a few weeks even. I am never one to refuse gifts, so I welcomed this news with open arms (refusing gifts is rude anyway.)
The EP opens with “Companion,” a slower, vocal and synth driven symphony of emotion. Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s bare voice on this track draws the listener into her secret world, not knowing what is ahead, but trusting her guidance. Once we have gone too far to turn back, the EP picks up without warning with Joni, a transcending spiral of poetry and rhythm (which may be the theme of the whole EP.) The latter tracks, Trophies for Paradox and Sweet World keep us immersed in Standell-Preston’s dreamy, bittersweet storytelling. Both beat heavy yet minimalistic, the effect left on the listener is infectious, and will without a doubt lead to an immediate re-listen.