In mid-2010 the members of Braid -- Chris Broach (guitar/vocals), Bob Nanna (guitar/vocals), Todd Bell (bass), and Damon Atkinson (drums) -- became excited about the idea of releasing something for Record Store Day 2011 and decided to set aside time in December to get together and see what would happen.
As Bell explains, "Maybe things would not click and we'd get nothing, or we'd end up joking around the whole time like usual. Or, everything would align and we'd get some good material."
Luckily, the latter occurred and, not surprisingly from a band that recorded almost 90 songs during its initial five-year run, it took only a few practices to write three new tracks and arrange a cover (of Jeff Hanson's "You Are the Reason").
Then, when it came time to enter the studio, the choice of engineer was immediately obvious: J. Robbins (Jawbreaker, The Promise Ring, Jets to Brazil, Frame and Canvas).
Says Nanna, "We knew we wanted to record with J from the very beginning. Being in the studio with him felt like we were just picking up where Frame and Canvas ended."
And like their last studio album, Closer to Closed crackles with energy throughout. From the immediately hummable Broach-sung opener "The Right Time" to the staccato-like drumming that fills closer "Universe or Worse," Braid expands its trademark sound with new layers and textures.
The success of this recent practice session no doubt raises questions of what's next for Braid. But beyond a couple of shows already scheduled for this summer it's hard to say for sure what the band's future holds.
Although no plans are currently in the works to record a full-length, the group is certainly open to the idea.
When asked to describe his reaction after first hearing the new EP in completed form, Nanna encouragingly replied, “I felt like how I feel every time a project is finished: When can we start writing more songs? I’d love to do another record.”