From The Hillside Hum:
Hillside's artistic programmers have always had their eye on emerging talent, especially when artists are still on the rise. One such act that played the fest long before they were tastemaker faves is Montreal-via-Calgary electro-acoustic trio Braids, who bring the pointed lyrics and heady atmospherics of their Polaris Prize-shortlisted Deep In The Iris album to the Island Stage this afternoon.
Recorded in Arizona, Vermont, and upstate New York, Deep In The Iris (the group's third LP) marries singer Raphaelle Standell's arresting vocals with sharp-eyed lyricism that covers some pretty heavy modern territory, including pornography, abuse, and slutshaming (as on the track "Miniskirt").
If that all sounds pretty serious, don't worry – Standell (who's joined by bandmates Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith) clearly has a quirky sense of humour, too, if her responses to the Hum questionnaire are anything to go by...
Have you been to Hillside before?
What do you think sets Hillside apart from other summer festivals?
It’s on an island and is primarily Canadian bands. Also there's a softness to the festival that other festivals do not have. A lot of festivals are dirty and loud – Hillside is like a pillow and grass with a cold cider.
Any artists you're keen to see at Hillside?
Doldrums! Because he is seriously one of the best musicians I’ve ever seen live. His latest album, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, is incredible.
What's your favourite part of playing festivals? Least favourite?
LIKE: I like being taken care of. It’s honestly like a summer camp for adults.
DISLIKE: Playing in daylight. It’s really hard to see the lights on our controllers.
Are there any songs that have become a 'fan favourite' in your live set, or that you particularly love to play?
Yes – "Blondie". Because we have this crazy ending [to the song] – you'll see...
Favourite festival food?
Exotic fruit platter.
Tell us something interesting about you (either personally or musically) that we might be surprised to know.
U: "Choose a door."
Me: "I choose door Number 6."
U: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yes, I’m sure."
U: "But what if there are thousands of snakes behind this door?"
Me: "Well, I never really thought of that..."
U: "Well, you should probably consider the possibility of snakes behind that door."
Me: "Then I choose door Number 8."
U: "Well, how do you know there aren’t 10 horses demanding to be groomed?"
Me: "Because I’m allergic to horses and I currently don’t have the sniffles."
U: "That’s a keen awareness."
Me: "I’m pretty perceptive."
U: "So you’re allergic to horses?"
Me: "Yes, terribly so."
U: "That’s too bad – they have such beautiful coats to pet."
Me: "I know, I’ve had to learn to observe such beauty from afar."
Me: "I think I’ve come to love them more because of the distance."
Braids plays the Island Stage on Saturday at 3:55 p.m., and the Alternate SoundSunScapes workshop with Doldrums on the Sun Stage on Sunday at 6:15 p.m.