Okay...But wait....I'm getting ahead of myself.
Okay: The Comfort Zone, home of white light cocktails and stoner chic in T.O. Midriffs, silk jackets, crazy makeup, glowsticks, trippabble light-show, celestial convergences hourly. This time out it was new band Paula, sending up some echo funk inside a pixillated typhoon of projected colour, advanced string theory and chilly-cool tunesicles to draw the crowd into a dreamy poodle pasture under a low ceiling of sound. Music nobs arriving late were unable to penetrate the thick clutch of fans ready for the first Braids Toronto show since Horseshoe 2012.
Efficient cable mongering and drum wrangling had Raphaelle, Austin and Taylor on their marks right on time. I was offered a table dance for my front row vantage point, but stood my ground for an eerie and astral set of post-jungle drums, malletted electro-marshmallow vibraphone and the wonder-eyed vocal aeronautics of Raphaelle Standell-Preston (founding co-vocalist Katie Lee was neither present nor referenced). All-new material featured the multiple brands that Braids have come to radiate - deconstructed lyrics, moebius keyboard oscillations, impermeable iceberg tempos and heart-stopping melodic leaps. Feedback was monstrously available in such a low room but occasionally blended right in and melted into the lava-lanche of loud pounding sound. The band seemed relaxed and tightly interwoven after a recent swing through the southern States and a SXSW showcase.
Patrons, fans and corpo-weenies alike were awe-inspired and, for a few days, nothing sounded really amazing to me.
Then I cracked open Sarah Jaffe's The Body Wins. But that's a story for another post.
Honestly, though. BRAIDS!
Sophomore album, Flourish // Perish, is due for release in August