Featured Artist: BRÅVES
What does an artistic social experiment sound like? Listen to BRAVES and you might just find out.
The trio are a self-proclaimed ideological, experimental pop band, and, like I mentioned, an artistic social experiment. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, BRÅVES focuses on the art of their music, instead of emphasizing their social presence and their public look, like so many other alternative bands do. So far they have released one album and two EP’s. Soon after their first singles dropped in 2015, the band started making waves in 2016, with their simultaneously provocative, inspiring, and head-scratching music video for their song “Catch Me.” BRÅVES leaves their music up to your interpretation.
Their music videos are often cinematic and symbolic, not shying away from sensitive topics. Of their music videos, my favorite is “A Toast,” from their 2017 self-titled debut album.
The video opens with a couple walking through a crowded street. But, something is not right about the scene, made clear the bystanders looking at them with confusion and distress. The end of the music video portrays the horror of abusive, one-sided relationships. It’s a powerful story, where the video lives up to the song.
Another highlight of the band’s career is the song “Me the Thief.” The track contains hints of Prince influences, in the musical style, vocal techniques and the music video’s meaning. It presents an amazing, diverse take on love and what it means to each individual person by highlighting the differences in love that are present in each person’s life.
BRÅVES straddles the line between self-absorbed and selfless, occasionally implying their songs are more meaningful than they actually are, with some of their messages being pretentious or over-dramatic. They paint themselves as saviors of artistic music, but nevertheless, they stray from showing off their image and let their music speak for itself. Their sound is often liberating, powerful, and reflective of self and culture. But one thing I would say to them is don’t follow trends. Some of their songs had overly-trendy, pitched-up and distorted vocal samples, and rap and trap-inspired rattling hi-hats. Originality is key when it comes to a group that is as passionate and political as BRÅVES.
They recently released a new single titled “Favorite Sweater”. It takes a bit of a different sound than their recent releases, and puts a heavier focus on the electronic aspects of their music, with glitchy, yet groovy production. It begins with vocals effects akin to “22, a Million”-style Bon Iver, as well as production similar to his other work. The track is fairly more produced and cleaner sounding compared to their previous music. Nicholas Petricca of Walk the Moon is credited with helping the trio write the track.
Though BRÅVES suffers from *occasional* over-production and weak song-writing, the group has a bright future with their polarizing electronic sound and political messages riddled throughout their music. If you’re a fan of artists like Lewis Del Mar, Honors, and Foreign Air, I would definitely recommend this band. Currently they have no information about upcoming projects or tours, but check them out anyway-you might just experience an artistic social experiment.