Listening to BIG BRAVE is like standing between a Richard Serra installation: massive and imposing, but curved to let the light shine on the edges. The Montreal trio's third album, Ardor, draws out their experimental and heavy music over three long tracks, including the heaving opener "Sound."
When BIG BRAVE toured with Sunn O))) this past spring, it was a melodic and moody complement to that duo's feedback-sick avant-drone, leveling stages across the U.S. The two guitarists and drummer channel Neurosis' ritualistic doom, Codeine's wailing pace and the cinemascope drama of Godspeed You! Black Emperor (tentacles of that collective have produced or played on past records, such as violinist Jessica Moss, who plays on all of Ardor), as Robin Wattie's voice yelps and crackles through the atonal sludge with an eerie glow. It is powerful music untethered to metal, post-rock or what have you, instead a tearing apart to mend the broken pieces.
For its "Sound" video, BIG BRAVE opts for surrealistic simplicity.
"Not usually being huge fans of music videos, we decided to make this video with the same approach we have when It comes to writing music; translating the aural and emotional qualities of the song meant using minimalistic, slowed down and layered visuals," the band tells NPR. "With our live performances, we definitely try to make it an immersive and introspective experience. The single shot of Robin attempts at re-creating these feelings by confronting head on the viewer/spectator."
Ardor comes out Sept. 15 via Southern Lord.