Now a trio following the departure of keyboardist/secondary singer Katie Lee, Braids' production and songwriting on sophomore effort Flourish // Perish sounds to these ears like a leap in the right direction past their Native Speaker debut, harkening back to such turn-of-the-millenium leftfield electronic pop touchstones as Kid A and Homogenic while sounding completely of this era (especially when they lay on the sidechaining, the occasional coats of which still somehow seem subtly applied).
"A lot of music is spoken about as being 'dreamlike,' but that tag can be used erroneously. Not all dreams are woozy, out-of-body experiences. Some are precise, and vital and unnerving at the same time as being otherworldly. Flourish // Perish is dreamlike, but in the sense that it reflects the true, bizarre and beautiful depths of the human brain, and dredges up sounds and lyrics that resonate with deeply felt emotional states.
This might sound like a stretch, but it's important to realise how brilliant Braids are at getting inside your head. The Canadian art-rock band specialise in twisting traditional song formats with electronic touches and out-there, often sexually charged lyrics. Raphaelle Standell-Preston sings with birdlike delicacy over skittering percussion, expressive bursts of electronic fuzz, and cascading keyboard melodies. She connects with the listener with the directness of Björk at her best, over backings that recall Radiohead's more successful electronic experiments." - Time Out London