Braids: A bona-fide garage band

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The Independent Culture

Braids are four best friends from Canada, who have just released their debut album, Native Speaker. Bursting with lush, multi-layered dream pop, including their sumptuous-sounding single "Lemonade", it has seen the newcomers heralded as "Canada's newest heirs to Arcade Fire's throne" by NME. Now Braids are about to embark on their first UK tour.

The band – lead singer and guitarist Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Austin Tufts, Katie Lee and Taylor Smith – formed in their last four months of high school in Calgary, Alberta and skipped university in order to practise for a year in Smith's parents' garage.

"Taylor's parents are just the nicest people. The garage was cold, so for Christmas they bought us little open-finger mittens," recalls Standell-Preston. "There were bikes and boxes all around and a big piano in the centre. It was probably the most luxurious studio we've ever had. And the kitchen was just 20 steps away. There, dinner would be waiting for us. There were snacks in the pantry. It definitely allowed us to practise a lot."

The four 18 year olds then moved to Montreal to begin work on their album. Their spellbinding indie-pop has been compared to both Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors. But what do they hope to achieve with their music? "Some sort of beauty and honest expression in our art. And to try things," says Standell-Preston.

'Native Speaker' is out now (