Montreal four-piece Braids appeared on music fan's radar two years with their album, "Native Speaker." Its ethereal dream-pop melodies were woven tightly together with guitar riffs, keyboard loops and singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston's vocal acrobatics. But since the band wrapped up their tour supporting said record, they've gone through a number of changes, most significantly the loss of band member Katie Lee.

Although Lee is a predominant contributor to the band's upcoming release, "Flourish // Perish," the keyboardist decided to leave before the completion of the album.

"She's very much a part of this record and it's really hard for me to listen to it because of that," Standell-Preston admits, adding that the two have yet to speak to each other since Lee left. "We didn't have an easy falling out."

The experience of losing a member has left a bitter mark on the band, but is the running theme throughout their new material.

Braids will also be releasing a 12” prior to the full-length, a transitional set of songs if you will that offers fans the last works of the band as a four piece.

"That was the pinnacle of us writing as a four piece," Standell-Preston explains. "'Amends' was all about Katie and I fighting, having huge ego battles and me realizing how hot my ego can get."

Standell-Preston, who now continues on with members Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith, reflects back on their time in the studio as both emotional and cathartic (she recalls many times where she cried during takes), but has admittedly moved on from those feelings. Now, she looks forward to the performance aspects of the songs, hoping to "find the musical elements and pockets we can sit in."

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  • Wednesday, June 12- GROUNDERS @ Horseshoe Tavern

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  • Thursday, June 13- Beliefs @ Handlebar

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  • Thursday, June 13- Dan Deacon, DIANA, Merchandise, Moon King, Nu Sensae @ Horseshoe Tavern

    There is a little something for everyone at the Horseshoe Tavern's Thursday night line up – experimental dance parties by Dan Deacon, synth art-pop by DIANA, an amalgamation of both by Moon King and straight-up punk by Merchandise and Nu Sensae. A show that will undoubtedly be an attack on senses and leave showgoers tired and satisfied.

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  • Friday, June 14- The National @ Yonge-Dundas Square

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  • Saturday, June 15- Fucked Up, Iceage, White Lung, CATL, Soupcans, Single Mothers, The Archives @ Horseshoe Tavern

    If you've got some pent up aggression in you, then Saturday night's lineup at the Horseshoe Tavern is the place to be. A great taste of punk music, both locally and internationally, headliners Fucked Up (Toronto), Iceage (Denmark) and White Lung (Vancouver) are spectacular showmen (and women) who know how to get a room riled up and sweaty with heavy music that's celebratory, cathartic, angry and just pure entertainment.

  • Saturday, June 15- Majical Cloudz, Ryan Hemsworth, Eight and a Half, Chad Valley, _8IO Feat. Byron Wong/Dave Hamelin @ BLK BOX

    If guitars aren't your thing, BLK BOX's big names, Montreal 's Majical Cloudz and local DJ Ryan Hemsworth, will surely fill your electronic needs. Hot off the release of his Merge Records debut release, "Impersonator," Majical Cloudz delivers a compelling live show that's more dynamic than his recorded material and is something that can win over both fans and newcomers to Devon Welsh's music.

  • Saturday, June 15- Villagers @ Great Hall, Sidedoor at The Soho House

    Irish singer-songwriter, Conor O'Brien a.k.a. Villagers, released a new album earlier this year entitled {Awayland} and has since fully embraced the idea of a full band as opposed to being a solo artist. For those who have only seen this O'Brien solo, or just for those who have never seen Villagers live, the full-band treatment will be something worth seeing.

  • Sunday, June 16- Ludacris, Smif N' Wessun, Mikey Avalon, Joey Bada$$, Fat Tony, Deniro Farrar @ Yonge-Dundas Square

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  • Sunday, June 16- MuchMusic Video Awards

    Though not a NXNE-affiliated event, the MuchMusic Video Awards always coincide with the music festival and draws equally as many music fans, if only more concentrated in one specific place. Located at the MuchMusic headquarters at Queen Street West and John Street , the annual event is guaranteed to shut down streets as fans swarm the outdoor stages for a number of performances. So far, this year's show will include performance by Ed Sheeran, Avril Lavigne, Classified, Serena Ryder and Demi Lovato as well as Korean entertainer Psy, who is also co-hosting.

Another thing the trio must now work out is their new guitar-free live sets, a decidedly lighter and cheaper touring option, but also something to reflect the new songs' major shift to synths and computerized electronics in place of their six-stringed instruments.

"I really became disenchanted with the guitar, it was this gross sound and I couldn't make it do everything I wanted it to do," Standell-Preston says, of her feelings towards her instrument-of-choice when they were on the road. "So I switched over to synth because I was trying to make my guitar sound like a synth anyway.

"It just all feels so different on this new record; we just heard things in our heads and rather than seeing if we could play them on our instruments over and over again, we would just plug the ideas in the computer and try to learn them later. It was a much more fluid approach. We might come back to guitars eventually."

Standell-Preston defends electronic music, referring to the genre as the "most emotional and human form of music" and believes that, whether people are flocking to it for its trendiness or not, that "people are naturally progressing towards making art that reflects their environment and I think that’s electronic music."

That being said, Braids’ signature sense of emotion will still very much be intact.

"I think that’s the defining thing about Braids, how immediately emotional it is," Standell-Preston says. "I don't think that will ever go away. I'm really proud of just how emotional the record is and how that translates."

CORRECTION: The piece originally stated that "Flourish // Perish" album title was ex-band member Kate Lee's idea. The band came up with the title after her departure. We regret the error.

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