[Album Review] Braids- Deep In The Iris
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)

Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Label: Arbutus Records / Flemish Eye

As we heard in Flourish // Perish,  Braids made a move to include more electronic textures and became increasingly more personal in nature.  

With the opener “Letting Go”, they show their ability to use a mosaic of rhythms. “Taste” continues this but with particularly standout vocals from Raphelle Standell-Preston. This is also where we get the album’s recurring theme of sexual abuse  “Take me by the throat, Will you push me up against this wall, and spit all this hurt on me, So I can feel my reach.” It’s interesting how Standell-Preston and their peers Purity Ring can hide such dark themes into angelic music.

Like their peers, they have become much more palatable to the general public while still being deep. Flourish // Perish enjoyed favourable reviews by critics but was something that wasn’t talked much about afterwards. This album takes a slightly different approach, there are more graspable hooks and the songs are slightly shorter and have a focused direction. Even with the wails inside “Blondie”, we are treated with playful and memorable beats. Similar production finds background in “Happy When” which takes a slower, eerie, darker turn.  

By far the most powerful track on the album is the ode-to-feminism single “Miniskirt”. It’s ferocious and has an improv-like freedom. “Getting Tired” continues the collage of rhythm idea with an echoing piano-line and heavenly vocals which include plenty of “ah-ah-ahs” layered on top of each other. “Sore Eyes” is probably the most “pop” heavy of all Braids tracks and in case you didn’t notice is about watching porno.

A little bit of Blue Hawaii (Standell-Preston’s other project) is injected into “Bunny Rose”, which questions the value of relationships. The album closes with the shuffling percussion in “Warm Like Summer”,  leaving  the listeners on a positive note that through whatever darkness and troubles, we can evolve and change our future.