Braids have a new album out, Shadow Offering, which was meant to come out earlier in the year but was postponed until now with the pandemic. Melodic pop at it’s finest, it is well-tuned and timely, a spot on release I consider top notch over the last few months.

The Montreal-based indie trio Braids moved the release date of their record which was out via Secret City Records to the 19th June. Produced by Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie), the new album offers a confident sound from the band, with songwriting that sees the band on best form. You may have already heard their single release, Snow Angel, which is indeed a stand-out track from the LP. Those lyrics, and singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s vocals are almost flawless as she almost transitions from frustration to intense anger, the anxieties of her internal and external worlds voiced, but with a degree of relativity. She poses questions many of us seem to be asking right now.

Of Snow Angel, Braids said : (it) 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.” And if we consider the Black Lives Matter movement and the recent police shooting of George Floyd, there is a great deal more to get from this single.

A luscious and journey of a release, this LP has an aural narrative, textured with subtext. Intimate and honest, you will find that you sonically navigate a complicated world. Whilst also addressing difficult relationships much of Shadow Offering looks to restore justice and find personal contentment. The songs move, and evolve, taking you on a pathway that you won’t want to step off. Atmospheric, heart-felt, dynamic pop, Braids will astound you with this new offering. And I now certainly look forward to more, and their Glasgow gig in November, should that still go ahead.

Shadow Offering is out now, via Secret City Records.