Top 20 Releases of 2017: No.13 – Her Braids – Demo

A new band from Matsumoto in Nagano prefecture, Her Braids have the air of a band still discovering their sound, and cross this EP, as with their live performances, they switch instruments between the three members from track to track with the result that no two songs feature exactly the same combination.

The sound they’re looking for is pretty clear from one iteration to another though. The opening Tangled Ropes recalls the dreamlike post-Sarah indiepop of The Trembling Blue Stars, while the mix of drum machine and bittersweet melancholy that runs through much of the EP recalls the Young Marble Giants. With its live drums and violin, the more uptempo Moody Summer picks up some of the raw edge of The Raincoats, all the while inhabiting essentially the same world of twee record store romanticism as the rest of the album.

The creation of a coherent atmosphere, albeit one with many echoes in the indiepop world, is key to Her Braids’ appeal. The way they set off their raw edge and fragility against the clear, gentle ring of the guitar and the restrained wash of the synth creates a multidimensional sonic microverse for songs like the achingly beautiful New Moon Dream to play in. It also ensures that within the Japanese indiesphere there’s currently no one else quite like them.

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