Sometimes, it takes more than one attempt to get things right. Take a look at Braid—the revered Illinois indie-rock band widely considered by many as a pillar of second-wave emo, along with similarly influential acts like the Get Up Kids, the Promise Ring and Jimmy Eat World. But Braid were different; their albums were less overtly poppy and more urgent and frantic than their contemporaries, built on the off-kilter interplay between co-frontmen Bob Nanna and Chris Broach. It was this ever-present tension that drove the band apart barely a year after their genre-defining album Frame & Canvas, with Braid coming to an end in August 1999, right on the cusp of emo breaking through to the mainstream. But with time comes perspective, and in 2010, the band eventually rediscovered not only their passion for their old music, but their desire to create something new.
You don’t have to be a music-industry insider to know that there’s currently a desire for ‘90s revivalism, and hordes of defunct bands are coming out of the woodwork to do one quick lap on the festival circuit and get the praise they always deserved but never earned their first time around. Braid are different, though; they knew from the start that this was never meant to be a “cash-in” reunion, and new music was always the end goal. With the release of No Coast looming on the horizon, it’s clear this isn’t where Braid’s story ends—it’s where a brand new chapter begins.
“I hope No Coast can be an introduction for people who haven’t heard Braid before,” says Broach. “It’d be great if some of the old fans were into it as well, but we want to grow as a band. We worked hard on this record. We want it to be the album people listen to; the one where they go, ‘That’s the one.’”
With No Coast, there’s no question: Braid are back. As for what comes next? “Who knows where it goes from here,” Broach concludes, “but we all want to continue doing this.”