Video by Jan-Willem Dikkers
“We’re the post-apocalyptic Beach Boys.”
— Johnny What
The Los Angeles-based band Bråves is comprised of producer Johnny What and Australian twin vocalists Jericho and Thorald. The trio released EP II in April 2016, EP III in October 2016, a self-titled debut LP in February 2017, and a follow-up MMXVII EP in March 2017.
Los Angeles band Bråves shroud themselves in mystery with dark masks, hoods and headdresses, and rarely appear in their slow, artful videos. The trio, made up of producer Johnny What and twin vocalists Jericho and Thorald of The Wood, instead favor deep dives into human nature. “We like to think that the band was born thousands of years ago, through our cave-dwelling ancestors who sang ancient lullabies to their babies and festive songs around the campfire,” What told W Magazine.
Accordingly, Bråves mellow, avant-garde take on pop music and the videos that accompany it leave space for a bit of discomfort, questioning and interpretation. For instance, the video for “Lovely Bones” stars two young girls dancing, strong and elegant, on poles—at once admirable in its athleticism and disturbing in its societal ramifications. And the band recognizes this gray area: Every dollar from the Bandcamp download of the track is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for anti-child sex trafficking charity, Covenant House.
In the same vein, their video for “Dust”, which went viral in early 2016, features albino model Shaun Ross standing shirtless amid roiling ocean waves. In the clip’s last few seconds, he emerges from the water, completely nude and bearing a shockingly large prosthetic penis. This video garnered them a record deal with Rostrum Records, and has since reached over two million YouTube views.
Since forming two years ago, Bråves has recorded two experimental EPs and recently released their self-titled debut LP as well as their third EP MMXVII. The band performed their track “Catch Me” for Issue, and What talks with us about their distant past, present and future.
Where are you from?
The Scottish Highlands, 2922 A.D.
When did you start making music?
When we were children. It courses through our veins. Interestingly enough, however, Jericho didn’t start singing until he was in his late teens. We’re glad he did.
Who did you listen to growing up and who is your music influenced by today?
Too many to list. Pretty much anything good. However, I know Thorald would kill me if I didn’t say one name in particular: Prince.
How would you describe your music?
We’re the post-apocalyptic Beach Boys.
How and when did you decide that this is what you were going to do?
I don’t think it was a decision we ever made. We’ve just loved writing together since day one.
What’s your story of getting started as a musician?
Nearly 1,000 years in the future, when society has crumbled, humankind will be driven back to its tribal roots. Three brothers from the same tribe will stumble upon the remnants of Abbey Road and one of them will press a button that says, “Power.”
“Nearly 1,000 years in the future,
when society has crumbled,
humankind will be driven back to its tribal roots.
Three brothers from the same tribe
will stumble upon the remnants
of Abbey Road and one of them will press
a button that says, ‘Power.’”
— Johnny What
How does it feel to have finished your LP?
It feels great to have this LP out in the world. We’re excited to share what we’ve been putting together for the last two years.
Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
An English musician and producer, Isabella Summers in the keyboard player for Florence and the Machine. She has written, produced and remixed tracks for Florence and the Machine as well as artists including Iggy Azalea, Nas, Cara Delevingne, Judith Hill and The Game.
Isabella “The Machine” Summers. She’s been my neighbor for two years and I hear all the dope beats she’s making coming through my ceiling.
What are you working on now?
We just signed our first artist, Råff. She’s an amazing 19-year-old singer from New York. Incredibly intelligent and beautiful. We’re working on her record right now and we’re all very excited about it.
What’s your favorite book, film, and music right now?
Currently reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn and loving it. My favorite movie of the year was either Arrival or Nocturnal Animals; both affected me deeply. I’m really into Tycho’s new album, Epoch. It’s epic.
What are your interests and passions outside of music?
Time travel, hiking, brunching, friends, virtuosity. Thorald loves NFL football.
What’s next for you?
We’re heading to Paris to work on our second LP and take cool photos for our Instagram.