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Secret City Records

Shadow Offering

by Braids

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Pedro
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Pedro Can't get enough of this album! Favorite track: Young Buck.
ethereal_space
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ethereal_space Vulnerability and artistry combined into one.
swartsie
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swartsie I have been following Braids for quite a while now and have been waiting & waiting for this recording to be released !
& let me tell you it was worth the wait ! The song "Just Let Me", caught my attention right away & I am obsessed with this song ! Raphaelle's voice is sooooo beautiful, that it sends chills down my spine... seriously ! I hope Shadow Offerings does well on the charts and the band financially in these tough times and next year you win a "Juno" because Braids, you deserve it !
David Knights Cowling
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David Knights Cowling An album that deserves a world to be played into; nevertheless, this document represents these marvels aptly.
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1.
Here 4 U 03:51
-- Lyrics -- Out chasing little sparks See where it goes Oh you wish you’d kept me Well, I was there, now I am here You wanted freedom So I gave it to you I’m not gonna sit around I was hurt, needed air Now I’m running through the back doors left in my mind Do I need you, do I hate you, do I love you Should I have been more patient with your fleeting heart I miss you but I won’t tolerate being ripped apart Still, I’m here for you Even if you don’t want me to be I’m here for you Even if I had to leave Caught up in your own dust You move too fast for yourself Running away running away running away From the fear of love, the fear of what it means to give And what it takes to protect it I remind you of how you can’t confront yourself And you hate it, yeah you hate it And I wonder if you’ll ever love yourself Parts of me are waiting and parts of me move on Still, I’m here for you Even if you don’t want me to be I’m here for you Even if I had to leave
2.
Young Buck 03:53
-- Lyrics -- Shook my foundation Young buck 22 year old Who treats me badly The blaring example of what I am drawn towards And should strongly move away from Young buck was just a mini chapter While I play in this waiting game For the one I think I’ll love forever Though we’re still not together It’s seeming so hard To ever be loved by you It’s seeming so hard To ever be loved by you Be loved by you Driving down the strip of Las Vegas Lights everywhere, air in the hair Windows down in my broke van I’m driving nowhere, air in the hair Maybe go and get my sex on Go drinking tonight with a nice muscle guy The numbing kind Everyone needs a little numb once in a while Pointless, pointless, pointless, pointless You’re seeming so pointless, pointless, pointless It’s seeming so hard To ever be loved by you It’s seeming so hard To ever be loved by you Be loved by you
3.
-- Lyrics -- At my core I feel good My essence is assured But there’s so many layers to get there So much build up So many left their mark on me The non literal wound of a heart broken I sat on the side of a quarry As the moon came to hug the sun An abusive lover casting shadows As it reaches in for a kiss What eclipses me in my life? I asked inside palms turned up What diverges me from my highest potential, highest purpose HA HA, Myself What eclipses me in my life? Myself At the age of 27 Questioning That the universe doesn’t trust in me Have a plan for me Like we can find ourselves, our self It’s in the tall grass It’s in her long hair In her dark eyes, hologram nails The love of two women My best friend Ashley What eclipses me in my life?
4.
Just Let Me 05:15
-- Lyrics -- You’re right I’m wrong You’re wrong I’m right The fights The fights Just wanna lift your arms up and start dancing with you Dancing with you There’s sometimes so much noise between us And I wish it could just be quiet for a moment Quiet for a moment Just let me Let me get through to you Just let me You get that look in your eye So far away like there’s a valley between us It’ll take days to cross it To get back in your arms At times I grow tired Of trying to find it Like searching for water in a desert Like milking a rock Where oh where Where did our love go? Where did our love go? Oh I wanna know Where did our love go? It was here yesterday You’re right I’m wrong You’re wrong I’m right The fights The fights Just wanna lift your arms up and start dancing with you Dancing with you There’s sometimes so much noise between us And I wish it could just be quiet for a moment Quiet for a moment Just let me Let me get through to you Just let me Let me get through to you Where did our love go? Oh I wanna know Where did our love go? It was here yesterday Just let me Let me get through to you
5.
Upheaval II 05:03
-- Lyrics -- I spend all my time chasing after guys who don’t love me I spend all my time chasing after dreams that don’t suit me I spend all my time wondering if this path is right But don’t stop me now Don’t stop me now Though I’m tired of sitting on this fence I spend too much time giving second chances away But I’m no saint I spend too much time dancing with cruel love Give me that cruel love But don’t stop me now Don’t stop me now I’m wading in this mess Don’t stop me now Don’t stop me now I’m running away on the road to myself Don’t stop me now Don’t stop me now I’m at the peak of the mountain What do you get When you’ve crossed the river’s tide And you’re left to sit and dry What do you get When the ripples slow their pull And the season has now calmed And there’s no storm left to fight No excuses to be told What do you get? The same lies, the same lies every time
6.
Fear Of Men 04:30
-- Lyrics -- I am so distracted From the path I could be on One with hearts wide open No fear of a scary man behind the door Cause I still have pain I’m stuck in old ways The ways that I’m thinking Keeps me against brick walls He’s staring back at me Snarling back at me Here on my two feet I’m just trying to beat All the fears that hold me back The fear of men Don’t wanna fear them Wake up, wake up I’m doing all the labour All your heavy lifting Get your shit together We’re getting really tired Of all your excuses Cause we still have pain You’re stuck in old ways The ways that you’re thinking Keeps us against brick walls Here on my two feet I’m just trying to beat All the fears that hold me back The fear of men Don’t wanna fear them
7.
Snow Angel 09:00
-- Lyrics -- I think I killed my plant From overwatering it Things don’t grow the same In the winter time I slipped on the stairs Winding myself of air I can’t do anything But lie here for a moment I am a snow angel Makes the bitterness Feel romantic This year there isn’t someone To keep me warm I’m back with cuddling Bunny Rose I came home early From the show tonight I was feeling low Cause I went out alone again The band stayed at my house Age of seventeen I remember when This was done for me I am a snow angel Makes the bitterness Feel romantic This year there isn’t someone To keep me warm I’m back with cuddling Bunny Rose Snow angel, snow angel, snow angel Focusing on a flower The clouds overhead The lips of my lover Mother nature and her offerings Reminders that life is beautiful still Amongst all the madness, the chaos The need to march in the streets Fake news and indoctrination Closed borders and deportation I’ve been deeply sad A sadness deeper than after rejection Am I only just realizing the injustice that exists Cloaked in white privilege since the day I was born Blinders on Blinders on It’s the feeling where I wonder if everything is gonna be ok And when I say everything I am not talking about my little everything My little life I mean the planet I mean the oceans People fighting for their right to a safe life The polar bears floating away on a brick of ice What have we done to them? The only way I can ease the all consuming, rising feeling of we’ve reached no return Is to grab that pillow and give a good long scream Sit with the release Maybe go for a run Come home, turn on the tv Go numb for a bit Forget the suffering that I cause that I cause that i i i i i I recycle I compost I buy second hand God I’m disgusting Like that’s enough of a plan Staring at my iphone Green smoothie recipe ‘How to start your day right’ Slipped right through my hands Clean up the glass on the ground Push the little sharp bits around Whole world’s going to shit This white girl contributes to it I want to stop trying to hide it I want to stop trying to hide it I want to stop trying to hide it I wanna stop trying Will the lion be around when my child is born Should I even have a child at all? This world is full up I want to be a mother But I shouldn’t bring in another I want to be a Mother But I shouldn’t bring in another What is it to mother? We all need a Mother Killing Mother Earth Stab her and watch her Stab her and watch her Bleed Stab her and watch her Stab her and watch her Bleed Gather around Gather around to watch her Watch her Bleed Stab her and watch her Stab her and watch her And watch her Bleed For you and me For our cute little outfits Straight off the runway Sparkles High socks Vintage Nirvana tee Brown paper bag Heard they were going green 20 bucks at H&M, baby Can I get off of this ride I’m feeling dizzy It’s moving way too fast And I wanna come down
8.
Ocean 03:49
-- Lyrics -- Just want you to want me Why is that so much to ask After all these years Of going back and back and back To each other You’re my lightness in the dark I see clearly You’re my little northern star I am tears and I am fire I am laughter I’m a liar I’m confusion I’m direction Epiphany from rejection I was standing on the corner For a car that never came It was raining I was standing in the rain Someone pulled up And I didn’t know their face Said to move on Cause it’s you I’m here to chase You’re my tears You are my fire Better half and my desires You’re confusion you’re direction Epitome of rejection But I don’t want to move on I love you I love you I love you I love you I don’t want to move on Sink me in this ocean I’m a bag of heavy feelings for you For what we have together For what we’ve always had together Lay myself big and bare Poke my wounds There and there There and there Trapped inside the cage of my devotion That’s what you told me Said you can’t see Said you can’t find yourself if we’re together I wanna give you all your freedoms But I don’t want to move on I love you I love you I love you I love you I don’t want to move on I love you I love you I love you I love you I don’t want to move on I love you I love you I love I love you
9.
Note To Self 04:29
-- Lyrics -- Do you want me to love myself More than I love anyone else I tire of me sometimes Just like I tire of you Only I’m stuck with this Can’t leave this body, this voice Just momentary distance When I close my eyes for silence Walking down the street I felt such joy to be alive This morning I swear, there’s a truck idling beside my bedside Oh the contrast I run with it I work with it Get familiar with the seasons of my life The mountains I’m asked to climb and climb and climb The constant clichés that repeat themselves Till I no longer ask, Why? There is no reason Just breath And a beating of the heart One foot in front of the other Then the other That’s all

about

Braids have been taking the time and space necessary for little miracles to occur. Burrowed in their Montreal studio, the band has spent the better part of three years crafting Shadow Offering, their 4th album, due out in June 2020 via their new label home, Secret City.

Unlike previous albums, Braids decided to stay close to home for the recording of Shadow Offering. Taking over a spacious sound recording studio tucked in an old warehouse, the band were able to slow down and creatively rediscover themselves. “With this album, we wanted to give ourselves time to achieve a higher caliber of artistry and collaboration,” Tufts says. No longer riding the novelty of youth, the band deliberately took time to recommit to themselves and their craft, and channel new energy into their music. They wrote 40 songs. They went through their Saturn Returns. They learnt how to support one another better. They drank a lot of La Croix.

The band sketched and re-sketched new material for eighteen months before lucky circumstance found Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) renting out space in their studio. The four began wandering into each others’ rooms, curious about each others’ projects. Typically opting for a private and insular creation process, the friendship between the four saw the band sharing their songs with Walla, and naturally resulted in Walla co-producing and engineering Shadow Offering. Pushing the band out of their comfort zone, he at once broke and unified the band’s dynamic, unearthing individual creative energy long buried over the years. With a new sense of confidence, listeners will find Braids at their most personal, unabashedly flexing through their new music.

A luscious and expansive release, Shadow Offering leads us through a sonic tapestry of narrative. With heart-breaking honesty and precision, listeners traverse a nuanced and complicated world: one full of beautiful contradiction. Although the album directs itself at the failures of people to love and be loved, it also seeks to restore justice and attain blissful union. Its arc crests through the dark towards the light and learns how to dance with the dizzying rhythms of the heart. The songs bubble, sustain, dissolve, expand, retract.

The creative process saw Tufts exploring groovier and more supportive rhythms, while Standell-Preston and Smith picked up their guitars in a serious way, something they hadn’t done since Native Speaker. ‘Young Buck’, Shadow Offering’s lead single, sees Braids at their most playful and confident. An effervescent ode to impossible love, it exudes an undeniable magnetism reminiscent of the band’s breakthrough works ‘Lemonade’ and ‘Plath Heart’.

With Shadow Offering, Standell-Preston’s voice is visceral as always, conveying a new confidence and rawness we’ve yet to hear from her. Fans of commanding 90’s songwriters like Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette will relish in her voice’s strength and lyrical aptitude. ‘Snow Angel’, an unhinged performance from Standell-Preston, has her leaning passionately into her anger. “You’re allowed to be angry, don’t shy away from it because you feel you have to,’” Standell-Preston recalls Walla saying. Validated and encouraged, Braids’ frontwoman dove deeper into her frustrations and anxieties about her internal and external worlds.

‘Snow Angel’, in effect, is the album’s core. Across its sweeping 9-minutes is a diary entry literally exploding beyond the boundaries of the page. Standell-Preston desperately seeks a mere inch of belonging “Amongst all the madness, the chaos / The need to march in the streets / Fake news and indoctrination / Closed borders and deportation”. Surrounded by klangy guitars and unrelenting rhythm, she plunges, and deliberately feels it all at once; when a dying house plant, the climate crisis, another cracked iPhone screen, and the endless barrage of both content and destruction all carry equal weight in driving oneself to scream in madness over what it means to be alive in the modern world. Falling from the song’s zenith, she is left aching for peace within the chaos distinctive to her Millennial generation: “Can I get off of this ride / I’m feeling dizzy / It’s moving way too fast / And I wanna come down”.

Although the album recounts pain, heartbreak, anger, it also lifts the heart towards hope. “There’s more hopefulness in this record than anything else I’ve written. I think the songs are more human, more tangible, more honest,” Standell-Preston says, referencing therapy and her transcendental meditation practice as helping her through the rhythms of her life. “I showed up for my heart on this record. I really showed up. From the start to the finish.” No better is this reflected than in ‘Eclipse’, an album standout. Dedicated to the singer’s best friend Ashley, it’s a song that sinks deep into a feeling of reverie for nature, the love found in friendship, and the vital nature of personal reflection:

At my core I feel good
My essence is assured
But there’s so many layers to get there
So much build up
So many left their mark on me

…What eclipses me in my life?”

“Parts of us get eclipsed by certain experiences and behavioural tendencies, trauma and societal programming,” Standell-Preston says. To take those parts and create a beautiful arrangement for listeners to feel solace and pleasure in, that is Braids’ offering. “This is what we offer back, this thing we have created. It was fueled into existence via the magnitude of our life experiences. We’re offering the abstraction of it back. This is the shadow it casts,” Smith says.

The definition of an eclipse is “the total or partial obscuring of one celestial body by another.” In many ways, Braids have crafted a balm with Shadow Offering to combat the dark forces that cross us. To overcome the fears that plague us, the planets eclipsing our planetary bodies, the patterns that bind us, the anxiety that grips us, the heartbreak that breaks us. The balm is the perfect antidote to such darkness and chaos: that of hope, pleasure and, above all, always love.

There is no reason
Just breath
And a beating of the heart
One foot in front of the other
Then the other
That’s all

[Note to Self]

Braids, comprised of Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith, are a Montreal-based three-piece. Formed in 2007 in Alberta, they have solidified a decade-long reputation for their musical ingenuity and established themselves as one of Canada’s most acclaimed art rock bands. Their albums include Native Speaker (2011), Flourish // Perish (2013) and Deep In the Iris (2015). Shadow Offering is out June 19th 2020, via Secret City Records.

credits

released June 19, 2020

Braids is Raphaelle Standell-Preston (vocals, guitars), Taylor Smith (Synths, bass, pianos, guitars, organ) and Austin Tufts (drums, percussion, pianos).

Recorded by Chris Walla at Studio Toute Garnie in Montreal

Produced by Chris Walla and Braids

Mixed by Mike Davis

Mastered by Ed Brooks

All songs written and composed by Braids

Published by Secret City Publishing

2020 Braids Musique Inc. under exclusive license to Secret City Records Inc.

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Braids

BRAIDS are a Montreal-based, three-piece band. Formed in 2007, they have solidified a decade-long reputation for their musical ingenuity and established themselves as one of Canada’s most acclaimed art rock bands. With Standell-Preston’s vocals as the pillar of their sound, BRAIDS weave organic and electronic elements together amidst a lyrical landscape that is intimate and emotionally-immersive. ... more

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