Braids Share New Single “Apple”

Canadian art rock band Braids released their new single “Apple” off their forthcoming album Euphoric Recall (out April 28th on Secret City Records). Among the most joyous moments in the Braids discography, “Apple” is a bubbling anthem of symphonic shoegaze, a celebration of seeing new possibilities in the eyes of a lover, acknowledging past loss with a new state of heart that’s been opened and filled.

Singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston sings of sweet sentiment on “Apple” that’s mirrored in the bursting instrumentation recorded live off the floor. Percussionist Austin Tufts marches and taps with feel-good intent evoking early Animal Collective while Taylor Smith’s arpeggiated synth sequence plays aggressively off the softer sonics for a heightened, sparkling shoegaze effect. On “Apple,” we see the band writing and arranging for a string ensemble for the very first time. Swells of orchestral energy bursting at the seams, carrying the listener through the overwhelming maelstrom of love that Standell-Preston recounts on this open-hearted track. “We didn’t have to work hard on this one,” they stated. “We could just jump in and enjoy the ride of it.”

A freer and wholly anew effort, Euphoric Recall finds the trio abandoning strategy, burning it down, and realizing their love record. Love, all of it; the unbound bliss, the budding impulses, and the messy imperfections, a supernova swirled up in a suite of bold, melodic, symphonic pop songs surrendered to the present. The complexity of love and healing is not a new subject for Braids, but the vantage from which they see and sense it here is. Standell-Preston’s lyrics draw generously from her heart space, often writing on the spot, in just a few takes. Lines are vivid, exhilarating, and evocative, a directness indicative of fully knowing oneself and engaging the moment. As songs emerged, the rhythms and textures became brighter and looser, brimming with life.

Written, recorded, self-produced, and mixed at Studio Toute Garnie, their Montréal studio, the music of Euphoric Recall is both unrushed and urgent, lush yet captured with in-the-room clarity. Elements weave in and out, shading a rich universe without crowding it. Austin Tufts brought a sharpened ear to sessions after producing records for Devon Welsh, Tess Roby, and others, sensing what songs needed from his drums, be it subtle balance or cathartic, jazz-inflected fills. Taylor Smith arrived from the depths of solo experiments and studio work, an ever-thorough multi-instrumentalist and sound designer with a renewed feel for fun and a move-forward mindset. Along with the album’s thematic sensuality, Standell-Preston carried the pulse of her club-minded project, Blue Hawaii, adding to their shared desire for new material to groove more viscerally. Together they also arranged strings, with contributions and notations from Edwin De Goeij (who also plays the piano on several tracks).

Braids have regenerated their creative selves with every record. The Montréal trio moves intuitively, harnessing an emotional honesty and meticulous craft rooted in a willingness to let go and trust in one another; they immerse fully into the space of a full-length album. This devotion to exploring their art, together, has made for one of the more daring and fluid catalogs in contemporary experimental pop over the past decade. They see their story as a series of actions and reactions, a collective expression that swings like a pendulum between open-hearted freeness and process-driven precision.

Photo Courtesy: Mélissa Gamache