You may not be overly familiar with LA-based BRÅVES just yet, but that’s alright, we’re very happy to do the introduction.
The three-piece, who choose to remain anonymous, purvey a self-described “ideology evocative of timeless warriors fighting to leave a mark on history, while rebelling against its confines.” BRÅVES is a “natural” and “primal” “artistic social experiment” which sees the group using a range of digital, visual and analog tools to create really intriguing, engaging and melodic musical art, with their most recent release being October’s III EP via Rostrum Records. Uniquely, much of their sound has been produced directly from the “timbre and reverberation of vocal chords,” fully utilising the natural elements as best as they can.
On themselves, they describe: “Take three musicians. Conceal their countenances from the general public. Create pop music without an image. Roll it out through a series of beautiful, albeit unnerving videos. Circumvent the political, pandering bullshit associated with most record labels. Shock the system. Rinse. Repeat.”
“BRÅVES is natural. The human voice functions as the main variable within this experiment. Most of the sonic elements derive from the timbre and reverberation of vocal chords. Their resonances and tones clash with minimal production, breeding a familiarity in its foreignness.”
Alright, so that all sounds a little hard to digest, but regardless, this is one trio whose name you want to remember. Just let the music do the talking:
The video for Dust stars albino model Shaun Ross (yes, this is the video which racked up a couple million views because it shows the model with a seriously massive shlong [later revealed to be a prosthetic]):
Anyway, we wanted to get to know BRAVES a little better, so we asked them to share three albums which changed their lives.
Michael Jackson, Dangerous
I was just a child when this record came out but I was obsessed. One time, I tried going to school wearing a silver glove, a white shirt, black pants and curl in the middle of my forehead. My parents caught me at the door and said, “nuh uh.” Any chance I got, I’d emulate MJ; any semblance of a dance-floor became my stage. I played electric guitar from a young age, so my favourite track was Black or White. Slash’s riff is so simple and catchy. Plus, Macaulay Culkin was in the video and he was a big inspiration as well. Particularly his portrayal of a young psychopath in The Good Son. Also, the video for Jam I remember being controversial and therefore another favourite. I think it’s the one where Michael takes a crowbar to a car and then undoes his zipper before turning into a literal black panther. That shit was dope.
Jimmy Eat World, Clarity
For most of my adolescence I listened solely to pop and hip-hop. Then in 9th grade my friend, Jared, introduced me to Jimmy Eat World. Clarity had just come out and I’ll never forget the first time I put the CD in my Discman on the ride home from school and Table For Glasses came on. That subtle organ and simple drum pattern, the constant harmonies and esoteric lyrics, the massive amount of counterpoint; it all hit me just right. My favourite track – and still one of my favourite songs to this day – is For Me This Is Heaven. I shed a number of teenage tears with that song as my soundtrack, yet it carries a levity that can make tears joyful under the right circumstances. I’m so glad I heard that record.
Dave Matthews Band, Listener Supported
Never in a million years did I think I would like Dave Matthews Band. But truth be told, he is solely responsible for re-invigorating my love for guitar in my teenage years. I remember hearing this live version of Crash Into Me and just needing to know how to play it. The way he plays his instrument is truly unique and has inspired a lot of young musicians to pick up their instruments. To this day I can play just about every Dave Matthews Band song. That is how obsessed I became. And believe me, when I started, I sucked. Ask the kids at my high school; they would make fun of me for how bad I was at first. But I kept playing and learning DMB songs and jamming on them for hours, just like the man himself does – particularly on songs like Two Step. So, thanks Dave. You seem like a righteous dude. And in my life you’re one of the most influential guitarists of all time.