BRÅVES | BRÅVES | Rating: 8/11
Within the span of a year, a year of BRÅVES repeatedly dropping obscure breadcrumb trails of sound that varied between minimalism and lushly sensual exercises in electronic sound design (the BRÅVES EP II and III EP in 2016), what we’ve been dealing with is a mystery trio with top line musical game for days who came to make your headspace their personal playground. Australians Jericho and Thorald and producer Johnny What. What? Exactly.
In the beginning they framed themselves as “an artistic social experiment”: musical sociology remaining in shadows while their creations spoke their volumes. After 13 songs of foreplay, we’ve finally reached the coitus stage of the relationship with BRÅVES with a full length album and, like any good lover, it’s rich in healthy and broad experimentalism. James Blake is tight but he trades on his delicate fragility whereas BRÅVES…damn.
Love is in the air and it permeates many breaths exhaled, cooed, spoken and sung underneath and above the funky and meticulous production, but these are not frivolous endeavors of the heart; they’re also tasks to engage the head. BRÅVES comes at you with unguarded emotion a little on the raw. All they ask is that you, in return, be brave. Perhaps have a lion heart, even.
Today’s pop music is fantastically malleable so it’s easy to appreciate how BRÅVES bends and shapes it into robust bursts of sound with elegant electro edges like “Catch Me” only to side shift into a good, “old fashioned” house music mode on “Survive.” Wait, how old am I again? Never mind.
This is good stuff: Adult and thoughtful. Luscious in execution even when on the wrong side of love in “A Toast,” but “Best Kept Secret” is a straight up aphrodisiac and these guys should be mindful of slinging so much tangible lovesexy around without advance warning. That shit’s dangerous.
As social (and musical) experiments go, BRÅVES is a heady and evocative trip very much due to how seamlessly Jericho and Thorald’s voices meld together as well as pronounce apart. Human conditions translated for you; now all you have to do is decipher for self.