With their upcoming release Habitat, Beliefs are dismantling the wall of sound they created on their first two records. According to vocalist/guitarist Jesse Crowe, Habitat is a dark album drawing on her teenage goth years, an infatuation with Portishead’s Third, and bandmate Josh Korody’s fascination with Aphex Twin. Crowe describes Habitat as a record with room for silence that dispels with the “all push no pull” aesthetic that 2013’s self-titled and 2015’s Leaper exuded.
Lead single “1994” is unmistakably all pull. Even with Crowe’s focused, potent vocals and Korody’s sour musical motifs, “1994”’s allure comes from what’s absent rather than what’s present. Beliefs have razed their sound of the glorious guitars and feedback that marked their earlier work, letting melody, mood, and the mighty weight of Crowe’s words carry the music.
I think it’s near impossible to name a song after a year without drawing a connection to that year’s notable musical releases, but for the first time in their musical career, Beliefs have found a sound and style that’s set them apart from their shared love of 90s music. Not only are they breaking down walls of sound, they’re breaking apart audience perceptions and expectations.