A vampire’s bite, aerial cityscapes and a snake’s darting tongue are just a few of the scenes that make up this new video for singer-songwriter Cass McCombs’ “Big Wheel.” The bizarre and chaotic vibe of the video, like in the kaleidoscopic treatment of a painting shown here, nicely contrasts the sober tone of the song. Lyrics, which meditate on masculinity and society, merge the visuals and instrumentation with beautifully written lines like “Small wheel runs by faith/Big wheel runs by grace.” Pick up the album Big Wheel and Others from iTunes.
Always inspired by David Bowie’s beguiling fashion sense, we looked to the androgynous glam seen in press photos from his fourth album Hunky Dory (which came out 42 years ago today) to inform this fabulous look for winter. Paired with HABITUAL Harlow Flares, the checkered fur and giant lizard ring make quite the retro-modern statement.
With Beyoncé’s surprise release this morning of her heavily visual new album (17 videos in all), naturally there are some pretty fabulous looks that accompany it. For your Friday perusal, here’s our favorite of Queen B’s publicity photos for the self-titled album. You can check out the teaser video on Facebook or buy the album from iTunes.
Borrowing a title from The Knife’s latest album, this mid-Autumn mix of music is all about the disruption—early sunsets, layers, fallen leaves—that the season brings. From the HABITUAL studio to you, enjoy these tunes designed to welcome the changes in daily rituals as we prepare for the winter ahead.
The Knife’s “Hole in the Head” from Shaking the Habitual (released earlier this year) pairs polyrhythmic beats, electronica and their trademark metallic vocals with steel drums and other tropical sounds in a song that makes an ideal soundtrack for the morning commute or any appropriate pleasure-meets-pain moment.
Larry Gus’ “Pericles” is maybe the ultimate mash-up from the an artist whose layers upon layers of sound make for an intricate patchwork of music. From ’60s and ’70s jazz grooves to psychedelic rock and plentiful samples, all tied together with driving polyrhythms, this track is wonderfully weird, dark, and perfect to get you through a workday afternoon.
Like Gary Clark Jr., Willis Earl Beal is another favorite bluesman interpreting the genre with his own unique swagger. With a Tom Waits growl and a feverish pitch, “Hole in the Roof” builds a classic backbeat and an organ to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins heights.
The duo Conrad Praetzel and Robert Powell combine traditional folk and contemporary sounds in their project Clothesline Revival. From their 2002 album Of My Native Land, “Calling Trains” samples a 1936 recording of an unidentified train caller for a dreamy take on Americana.
Anne McCue’s bluesy song titled “Hangman,” gets punctuation from the desolate sounds of her lap steel guitar for a ballad to dark nights and even darker people.
To truly embrace the depths of the season, we count on Fever Ray (being the earlier iteration of The Knife of course) and tracks like “The Wolf” that channel the heart of a black forest and all the mysteries within it.
From the cheeky mind of Father John Misty frontman Josh Tillman, these original artworks are charming send ups of contemporary magazine covers. As much as mock headlines like “Other Numbers + Words” poke fun at print publishing conventions, we sense at least a little affection for the joy that glossies bring us within the parody. After all, imitation is the sincerest form, sardonic or not!
What’s better than a girl group that channels Chrissie Hynde? The Los Angeles-based trio of sisters known as Haim is all that and has enviable style to boot. Pick up their new album “Days Gone By” to get a taste for yourself.
via Tomboy Style
We can’t get enough of Neko Case’s new album The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, especially this track, “Night Still Comes.”
If like us you missed the psych rock-meets-reggae croonings of Wild Belle on the festival circuit this summer, you’ll be glad to know the brother-sister duo just announced a fall tour with stops throughout North America, kicking off September 5th. As this video of their performance suggests, the Island vibes of the band’s songs sound as good live as they do recorded. We might even go bi-coastal and catch them at the September 28th Echoplex show in Los Angeles AND their Bowery Ballroom gig on October 8th in NYC.
The breezy upbeat sound of Scottish trio Chvrches makes the perfect electropop soundtrack for weekend unwinding. We plan to do little more than put their new single “The Mother We Share” on repeat, find a glass of something chilled, and seriously kick back.
For this edition of Habitual’s current favorite tunes, we bring you everything from foot-stomping blues and frenetic French electro-swing to sweetly melancholy folk ballads—including a few newly discovered at the inimitable Newport Folk Festival last weekend. Enjoy! And see more music from earlier in the summer in our June Playlist.
At 29 years-old, the blues tradition continues with the wailing steel of Gary Clark Jr.’s guitar. After first witnessing the young man perform in Amanganset, NY to a small crowd (packed with the likes of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and other legends), we now see him bringing his brand of Americana cool to John Varvatos’ ad campaigns. We’re lately loving “Don’t Owe You a Thang,” a classic example of Clark Jr.’s fuzzed-out roots music, from his 2010 EP.
One of the most talked about sets at the Newport Folk Festival, Josh Tillman of Father John Misty interspersed his performance with cigarettes, moonshine, hip-cocking, and sardonic comments, like “I’m not a folk artist…I just got invited here because I’m white and I have a beard.” Closing it out with “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” the band turned the mellow song into a Nirvana-worthy act, ending it by Tillman mounting the drum kit and the bassist smashing his guitar. See the video on YouTube.
In an intimate show with Bonnie “Prince” Williams, Dawn McCarthy, and bandmates in a semi-circle around a single mic, Newport audiences also experienced beautiful Isley Brothers covers from their recent “What the Brothers Saw,” like the above “Omaha,” as well as gorgeously souful vocals from McCarthy’s other project Faun Fables.