Last year, Braids returned to the spotlight to release their fourth studio album, Shadow Offering. It was their first LP in five years and, unsurprisingly, it looks like the band wrote more music than needed for the record. So today, Braids are unveiling two new songs from those same recording sessions: “Slayer Moon” and “2020”. Stream them below.
“Slayer Moon” is a melodramatic pop-rock sound with menacing (but sparing) guitar, airy keys, and one hell of a vocal performance that brings to mind St. Vincent. According to Braids, the song was inspired by a Sailer Moon phone case they bought in Tokyo while on tour in Japan. “Growing up I was obsessed with Sailor Moon, particularly with the ability to magically transform from a normal girl into a full-on mystical and powerful Sailor Scout, battle-ready to combat the evil forces of the world,” they said in a statement.
In a way “2020” is the complete opposite of “Slayer Moon”, perhaps because it was written in 2017 after a long period of being alone. “I was with friends, but my heart was lonely and longing for companionship, my body confused with the unfamiliarity of new and shallow encounters,” explained Braids. “I had been meditating a lot during this time, tracing a line through the centre of my body, a process of inward-looking that I veer towards when I take the time to sit. I titled the song ‘2020’ in 2020. Revisiting the song’s lyrics through the eyes of our present reality struck a chord with me. I felt as close to the song as when I had first written it. I find that I am asking myself similar questions while in this pandemic, without my friends, my family, my familiar structures.”
If you can’t get enough of these new tracks, then it’s worth revisiting last year’s Shadow Offering in full, especially standout songs from the LP like “Young Buck” and “Eclipse (Ashley)”. If not, then maybe Braids’ 2013 art-rock full-length Flourish // Perish or their moody record Deep in the Iris — one of the best albums of 2015 — will resonate better instead.