Beliefs - Habitat

by Jim Harris Rating:8 Release Date:2017-09-22

Beliefs knocked it out of the Canadian park with Leaper.  Can’t think of a more comprehensive assimilation of such bands as My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, and Slowdive than on that album.  Every song, whenever it is randomly played on my player conjures up 90s shoegaze brilliance from that little hitch in MBV's guitars or the straight-line voice of the singer melting into the waves of guitar. Leaper was one of the best albums that year, if you are a fan of shoegaze.

That was Beliefs last album two years ago.  Now, pretty much so long shoegaze.  Habitat, Beliefs new album, takes the band into dark electronica and fairly far from the joyous waves of guitar noise of their previous album and has the band pretty much rewriting how they do things from a musical standpoint.

Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe are the duo that make up Beliefs and hailing from Toronto, they have established much credibility in the Toronto scene and everywhere else really.  All three of their albums are rich in musical complexity and pay great homage to their influences, which previously was those glorious shoegaze bands of the 90s.

Habitat now takes the band into more focused dark recesses, and since Jesse announced to the world that they didn’t want to be a shoegaze band anymore, so be it. Still Habitat is another strong album from the band and shows them more experimental than derivative.  Owing to that there is plenty of that atmospheric Aphex Twins meets Chromatic in such tracks as ‘1994’.  Beliefs is a band not afraid to invoke their musical influences.

One significant aspect of this minimalist programmed approached, the haunty, husky, hypnotic voice of Jesse shines on a track like ‘Divided Youth (Only Lovers)’.  Her full range is showcased in this format instead of the conforming, derivative format shoegaze afforded her most of the time.

Beliefs is made up of two extremely talented musicians not afraid to take chances, switch gears, or go wherever they choose and since they do it so well, most of their fans, old and new, should follow along.

It’s fairly obvious after listening to Habitat Beliefs had reached the limits of copying that trademark 90s sound and now are proclaiming a love of a newfound set of electronic toys to process, or the desire to go considerably darker with their structures and themes.  Or perhaps both.  But in a new direction they did go.  And it worked out more than fine.  Habitat is no less interesting and compelling as their previous albums.  It should be interesting what they produce in the next two years.

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