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Native Speaker - Kanine
FILTER Grade: 81%

By Kyle MacKinnel on February 3, 2011



Hailing from the “Canadian prairies of Calgary,” Braids has arrived, and Native Speaker proclaims that the youthful foursome is good and ready to get warmed up. Kandy-kolored as it may appear, there is little about Braids’ debut that one would refer to as “innocent.” Swirling sugared irony together with freewheeling hormones, Native Speaker is an amalgam of feminine assertion and unabashed lust. The opener, “Lemonade,” introduces a theme of wantonness that pervades throughout the record. On the darkly titled standout “Plath Heart,” lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston adjusts into a sexual role-reversal as she casually rattles off, “Shooting in the wet dark/I poke and turn/You smoke and yearn.” To say the least, Standell-Preston’s level of confidence is impressive and, fortunately, the tightness of Braids’ execution has her back. A minor criticism could arise in a homogeny of the individual parts, but that just might be splitting hairs.

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