Big Brave will both intrigue and fascinate when they play Roadburn 2018

In a year where the presence of Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Roadburn will surely be one of the main talking points of the whole festival, it makes sense that we will also be exploring newer bands who are taking steps that are more or less within the same constellation.

Big Brave don’t really sound like GY!BE, or like anyone else for that matter, and are not affiliated with them despite a few loose connections (their previous album Au De La was recorded by Efrim Menuck, and their latest one, Ardor, features Jessica Moss from Thee Silver Mt. Zion on violin), but the sense of space within their slowly unfolding songs, the dynamics of silence they employ and the vague way the umbrella term that is post-rock can be applied to them, do ring a few similar bells.

Like many other Roadburn luminaries of the past and present, this Montreal trio are tricky to pin down. Their songs are lengthy – Ardor offers three pieces that are respectively 12, 14 and 16 minutes long – and often drift into the abstract, but at the same time never losing the grit and the focus of noise rock, or the emotional crush of no wave.

It’s heaviness that doesn’t feel heavy, darkness that doesn’t really look dark, and while most of it is music that is overwhelming to the point of washing over you, nowhere are the dualities of it more concisely expressed than on vocalist/guitarist Robin Wattie‘s singing, which flutters between raw catharsis and a strangely affecting Michael Gira-like atonality, with several other moods in between. After three amazing records, Big Brave still feel like a mystery, and we look forward to peeking a bit more behind the shadows when they play at Roadburn.

Big Brave will both intrigue and fascinate when they step up on stage on Sunday, April 22 at the 013 venue.

José Carlos Santos / November 2017

Date: April 22

Time: 19.50

Stage: Het Patronaat