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Amy Jacques | March 07, 2014

Family and Threads

“More than anything, we strive for emotional honesty. Whether or not that makes us stand out is up to the audience to decide,” says Taylor Smith of the art-rock trio BRAIDS. The band draws inspiration from “our friends and families, and most often the records we loved when we were 17.” They met in grade school and started performing in the summer of 2006 in the Calgary area where they grew up. “We base the band on collective and collaborative creation—no one voice more important than another, and each voice coming together to form our art,” he says. “The braid is a fitting symbol, and helps remind us of that.” Smith says the group now lives and creates in Montreal and “are part of a different ‘family,’ so to speak,” adding that their creative process comes from “feeling, most of all.” Their most recent release, Flourish // Perish, was an exercise in growth for the group “in changing instruments, changing sonics, changing emotion, maturing as individuals and losing a band member,” Smith says, adding that it’s “a record of change for us.” He’s wary to describe the band’s sound with “empty adjectives” but says that “it’s music—listening is always best. Whether explicit or intended or not, the place we live and the people we meet inevitably influence our growth as people, and in turn the creative growth of the band. Our art, and even our continued existence as a band, is forever indebted to those cities, people and experiences.” And for BRAIDS, looking ahead, it’s “creation time—back to the studio.”