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Braids was formed by four best friends in their last year of high school. Convincing one another to skip university, they stayed in the garage all year and practiced obsessively, even while their fingers froze during the cold prairie winters in Calgary, Alberta. Then the band –still in their teens– took the bold step of moving across the country together to Montreal, where they began crafting what would become their debut album Native Speaker.

The band’s music reflects an extraordinary, deep-seated maturity originating from time spent playing and growing together in their formative years. With an unusually collaborative dynamic, the bond between the four friends (lead vocalist/guitarist Raphaelle Standell-Preston, drummer/vocalist Austin Tufts, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Taylor Smith and keyboardist/vocalist Katie Lee) remains as impermeable – and remarkable – as ever.

On January 18, 2011 BRAIDS release the product of these labours, Native Speaker, a coming of age for the four intricately linked musicians. It captures a period of innocence and a period of change, yet comes off as strikingly mature for a young band just getting started.

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