Braids | Miniskirt
Back in 2009, I called Braids a ‘Band to Watch’. I first heard a song of theirs called “Lemonade” and thought it was one of the best tracks I’d listened to in years. I eventually talked with keyboardist KTLee (aka Katie Lee), who has since left the band, and she sent me a bunch of MP3 demos they were working on. They were just as wonderful, largely resting on the endless talents of lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s passionate vocals. Since then the band released their LP Native Speaker (2011), which ended up containing some of the tracks Lee sent me, in a different format. Then the band followed that record up with Flourish//Perish in 2013. This new track, “Miniskirt”, shows the band in full flower, with a more digital and soulful edge. Gone are the muddied, obscured vocals. The instrumentation is cleaner too. There’s no hiding in this track, that’s a beautiful mix of pinging electronics, keyboard and fragile, melodic vocals. “Miniskirt” is about as feminist a track as it gets, dealing with a kind of slut-shaming, aggressive men, familial dysfunction, and the thought that a woman deserves sexual attention simply because of what she wears: “I am not a man hater / I enjoy them like cake / But in my position / I’m the slut / I’m the bitch / I’m the whore / The one you hate / And there’s a name for this kind of man / A soft one at that / Womanizer / Casanova / Lothario.” It’s a great track, that takes off during the second half, the strength of the music keeping the song from being didactic. The song is off the Braids upcoming third release, Deep In The Iris, out April 28th via Arbutus Records and Flemish Eye. Follow the band at facebook. Pre-order the record here. The Montreal, Quebec-based band currently includes: Standell-Preston, Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith. Click here to read more archived Their Bated Breath posts about Braids. — David D. Robbins Jr.