Braids - 'Shadow Offering'

7/10

Although they first emerged back in 2011 with their debut album 'Native Speaker', things really began to take off for the Montreal-based trio when they released their third studio effort 'Deep In The Iris' in 2015. After it won the Juno Award, one of Canada's most prestigious music awards, the scene was now set for Braids to become one of the next great exports that the country had to offer. But rather than rally off the back of that release shortly afterwards, they instead took a lengthy break of five years to return with this, their fourth full-length 'Shadow Offering', which looks to maintain the momentum they gathered from their last release.

What feels most refreshing about this new collection is just how humble and modest it comes across in its sound. While many others usually look to turn things up a notch when facing a wave of anticipation like they have over the last few years, 'Shadow Offerings' sees the group comfortably move from one blissful yet vibrant offering after another, and never seem interested in suddenly grabbing your attention. Instead your interest is piqued at the very start, and very rarely slips as this new record brings a wonderfully dreamy and progressive aesthetic with it, delivering a truly warm and embracing stock throughout.

It may not have that same instant kick that their previous records have had, but 'Shadow Offering' still manages to unveil a strong and consistent direction that looks to seduce and sweep at almost every turn. They have clearly worked hard on this return, and the detail throughout shows just how much they wanted to make this comeback as bright and joyous as possible.

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