Calgary’s Braids

Calgary-based art-rock band Braids are on the back half of a band paradigm shift. After losing keyboardist Katie Lee during the recording sessions for their new album, “Flourish//Perish,” Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith are left with the daunting task of delivering their new electronic-heavy material live as just a trio. Surprisingly and thankfully, splitting instrumentation duties among just three members has infused the band’s show with a feverish intensity.

Showgoers can catch the band on Monday, Oct. 14, at Lowbrow Palace, and fans can expect some interesting changes from each band member (read further for details).

We caught up with Strandell-Preston via email two weeks before the local date.

Q. Where are you and what were you doing just before you started typing the answers to these questions?

I am in our jam space—the garage that’s in our backyard. I was listening to Taylor learn a part in the song “Fruend.” He’s trying to play four lines at once and looping them. He keeps taking off his headphones and shaking his head, saying “It’s so counterintuitive, it’s so counterintuitive.”

Q. Your new album, “Flourish//Perish,” has a calmer, more focused sound than your debut LP. What led you to make that stylistic shift?

I think we became more calm and focused as people (at least I definitely did), which crossed over into our music. It’s interesting how when you ride a bike with a friend, you can really see their personality come out. Like my fiery friends run red lights. Oh, also we just didn’t want to make a poppy rock record. We stopped listening to a lot of that altogether. We were listening to mainly minimal electronic music that took patience and commitment to get into.

Q. Has it been difficult making adjustments to become a trio since parting ways with a member?

Yes and no. It needed to happen, so there is that sense of relief, but we miss her a lot sometimes. It’s change, and I think it will take a while to really get used to it. I don’t feel like answering this question in full. It’s a topic that I’d rather not dwell on or consider much more. This album cycle has been chock-full of this discussion. Yes, it’s hard to leave someone and to understand what it is you need to do next. That’s the hardest part in ending relationships – is what you do next and how to do it with your heart fully intact.

Q. What changes have you made to your live performance since releasing your latest record?

Well, we all play different instruments now. Austin and I still play drums and guitar, but we’ve added a lot of electronics into the equation. Taylor plays this weird instrument called the malletkat. It’s an electronic vibraphone. We are still playing everything live and looping everything live, but my hands are busier than ever, as is everyone else’s. We’ve asked our fingers to do a lot more!

Q. You toured Canada heavily in the past, and you’ve even done some world tours. What do you think of touring through the desert southwest?

Oh, it’s my favorite. I love it so much. The desert is my favorite place in the world. Seriously. It’s so expansive and gorgeous. I like that if your car broke down and there was no cell phone reception and no one around, you would be in great trouble. It feels very dangerous. I always buy lots of water before I enter the desert, just in case. I get kind of excited while driving through it. And when a tumbleweed rolls by, I just think it’s the funniest thing. It’s like, “Of course a tumble weed would roll by. This is too perfect.”

Q. Which has been your favorite band you’ve played shows with on this tour?

Headaches from New York City.



with Hundred Waters

Lowbrow Palace, 111 E. Robinson

Monday, Oct. 14, 9 p.m.

$12 advance, $14 day of show

18+ ($3 surcharge for 18-20)

Tickets available at All That Music, The Headstand,

The Pizza Joint, Happy House

and online at