Is there a way to talk about Braid without employing the dreaded e-word? Or following it up quickly and annoyingly with, "No, wait, emo meant something different in the mid-'90s?" Let's just put it this way: The band—originally hailing from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois—was a stalwart of that decade's indie scene, touring perpetually and releasing a bewildering amount of music over the course of its six years together. Braid called it quits in 1999 and reunited for some shows in 2004, but no music came out of it.
That changes with the release next week of Closer To Closed, the band's first new recording in more than a decade. Recorded with J. Robbins (the former Jawbox frontman who also helmed the band's fantastic swan song, Frame And Canvas, along with a slew of great records by other bands), the EP features three new tracks and a cover of Jeff Hanson's "You Are The Reason." For Braid fans, the Bob Nanna to Chris Broach ratio is 3:1, and Broach somehow makes it through a whole song without doing one of his signature "Yeahs." Is it weird that we find that slightly disappointing?
That's not really a complaint, as Closer To Closed is pretty great. You can stream all the tracks using this Rdio player thanks to Polyvinyl Records. Closer To Closed drops Aug. 16 on CD and 180-gram white vinyl.