Brooklyn band Razor Braids shares a new acoustic song, “Megachurch,” which despite the title, is not a searing takedown of modern-day religion. The band explains:
“Megachurch is a reverie, a glimpse back at two unique but meaningful moments in our lives. It’s not so much about the people involved as much as it’s about the particular way we felt and then the absence of the feeling itself.” – Hollye Bynum
“For me, this song is about the memories we revisit when trying to fill the spaces people leave behind and the realization that maybe those memories, no matter how vivid and present they still feel, are never going to be enough” – Jilly Karande
Razor Braids is a Brooklyn-based, queer, all-female/non-binary rock band that combines a heavy punk energy with an indie rock vulnerability culminating in frenetic live shows and a dynamic sound anchored in a 90s alternative ethos. Finding strength during hard times has been at the core of the Razor Braids ethos since their formation. In 2017, Hollye Bynum, lead vocalist and bassist, taught herself to play as she recovered from a fall and subsequent brain injury that left her mostly bedridden. Over the next two years, the rest of the lineup came to fruition: Janie Peacock on lead guitar, Jilly Karande on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Hannah Nichols on drums. Their first year as a band was spent in constant motion – headlining shows at Mercury Lounge and Brooklyn Bowl and playing Rough Trade in support of Tchotchke (FKA Pinky Pinky).
In the throes of the pandemic, Razor Braids’ first single “Nashville,” recorded by Emmy Award-winning engineers Jeremy Lee Given and Mark Leombardi, was released in March of 2020 and met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from local publications like Post-Trash, Audiofemme and Look at My Records. The momentum from their single release propelled Razor Braids directly into the recording of their debut LP, I Could Cry Right Now If You Wanted Me To, celebrated with a sold-out release show at Union Pool and glowing reviews from grlsplain, Blisspop, and other Brooklyn-based music blogs. Recorded in practice spaces and living rooms, “I Could Cry” is a collage of emotions that cascades and crescendos through a distinctive combination of interlocking vocal harmonies, intense sound walls of guitar feedback, and a firece, driving rhythm section.
But despite its difficult subject matter – abuse, heartbreak, isolation – I Could Cry never lavishes too far into melodrama. “No, I’m not dead.” Bynum asserts in the opening verse of the album’s lead single. But with a touch of sardonicism she quickly shrugs it off, “Not quite, not yet.” That resilience has carried the band through the last year, selling out their first three 2021 shows and headlining beloved New York venues including The Sultan Room, TV Eye, a second sold out show at Union Pool sponsored by Hornitos Tequila, and playing Baby’s All Right in support of viral pop star DeathbyRomy.
Their upcoming singles, “Kellogg’s” and “Megachurch” were written almost entirely while the band was spread across the country at the start of the pandemic. Through voice notes sent back and forth between bandmates, Razor Braids weaved together two songs that bring to life the memories – from terrible parties to secret make-out spots – that bubble to the surface when the world has been forced to a halt. In different ways, both singles look to the past to try to make sense of the uncertain feelings of the present.
The four-piece has returned to the stage as a more cohesive unit with more confidence and sense of purpose than ever before. And with upcoming shows supporting Anna Shoemaker, Blahsum/Jigsaw Youth, and Thelma and the Sleaze the band has plans to record a follow-up to their debut LP and take their reputation for electrifying performances on the road with a Spring 2022 East Coast tour and the West Coast in the fall. With each scream and snare hit, Razor Braids have honed a unique sound that is a testament to the redemptive power and catharsis of community.