BRAIDS – ” Snow Angel “

Posted: March 30, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

Montreal trio Braids are releasing a new album, “Shadow Offering”, on April 24th via Secret City, but this week they pushed it back to June 19 due to COVID-19. On Thursday they also shared another new song from it, the nine-minute “Snow Angel,” via a Kevan Funk-directed video for the intense track. It’s an epic song that takes on social and political issues that are all the more relevant in this current crisis. “Should I even have a child at all?/This world is full up,” questions singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston in the lyrics. “I want to be a mother/But I shouldn’t bring in another.” It takes on global warming and the role all of us play in destroying the planet. If you want to get lost in the madness of the current moment, this is the song to turn to.

Standell-Preston had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Snow Angel’ was written in the immediate wake of the 2016 US election, as our collective conscience took a sharp inhale. It’s a diary entry of sorts—a snapshot of the mind grappling with our era’s endless barrage of content and destruction, continents away and close to home. *This* moment, with our world in the midst of a pandemic, is admittedly a new context. But I can’t help but sense the song speaks to feelings many of us are experiencing—uncertainty, angst, and a desperate desire to make sense of it all.

“For me, it was deeply therapeutic to write and sing this song; saying things out loud can help us to not feel so alone, can help validate our natural fears about the future of our world, and can bring to light some of the hard questions that many of us are asking ourselves. I believe that art can change our relationship to fear. We hope this song can offer you a moment of catharsis and relief, in the same way writing and performing it has for us.”

Shadow Offering includes “Eclipse (Ashley),” a new song Braids shared last December. When the album was announced the band shared another song from it, “Young Buck,” via a video for the track. Shadow Offering was produced by former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla.

Summing up the album, Standell-Preston had this to say in a previous press release: “There’s more hopefulness in this record than anything else I’ve written. I think the songs are more human, more tangible, more honest.”

This is among my favourite song of 2020 here. “Snow Angel” by Braids is an outstanding masterpiece, not just due to the fact that it’s over nine minutes long (which marks a new record in my personal ‘song of the year’ history). The Canadian indie art rock band has been on my radar for a few years now but never fully clicked with me. But this song – wow. It already got this great driving notion at the beginning and leading lady Raphaelle Standell-Preston really carries the song. But about four minutes into the track she ignites a spoken-word-reflection on her life on this planet and it when I first heard that part I think I heavily teared up because that moment sums up all the feelings many people in my generation have these days on our planet, the corrupt political system, environmental apocalypse, depression, capitalism, media consumption, ultimately resulting in Standell-Preston asking whether she should actually bring a child into this world. You really feel the desperation in those moments before the track is off to a furious finale, only to break down again. This is triumphant musical story telling, a song that needs a moment but one that perfectly captures the overall feeling of 2020.

Braids’ new album “Shadow Offering”

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