Our Song of the Day comes from Human Behavior, the moniker for the Los Angeles-based folk collective, led by chief songwriter Andres Parada. Miner is the second single from Human Behavior’s new EP Cancer: As Seen From Basement, coming April 14 via Keeled Scales. It’s a cover of a Karima Walker song, and while the track is wildly different from her original version, Karima sings on this recording too.
About Human Behavior
Furnishing an uncomfortably personal collection of releases, live shows that border performance art, and extensive U.S. touring, Human Behavior has functioned as an achingly honest document of Andres’ personal life, charted to music that has swerved from glitchy americana, craftily orchestrated drone-folk, waves of spoken word over organic noise, and always presented under the guise of tradition – folk music for those who don’t like folk music. The ritualization of discomfort for those who are searching for comfort.
Their most recent reinterpretation of modern American folk music is their new EP, Cancer: As Seen From Basement – a sonic sidestep in response to their 2016 full length, Kedumim. The music is an old-time passage between life and death, a compromise between the sudden passing of Parada’s father to cancer, and the discomfort of tradition as heard through Parada’s breaking voice atop sparse arrangements. Created in tribute to his father, Parada focuses the EP around an early 20th-century banjo that he bought with his inheritance, to explore the parents of his sound – slow humming banjo from the Appalachians, bleak tin horns from the American 1940’s, like a monotone prayer read between Woody Guthrie and Jeff Mangum. Live, these songs are never played the same twice – sometimes a three-piece savouring the space between notes, sometimes a ten person feast of loud gluttony, with Parada often backed up by the L.A.-based freak-folk outfit, The Manx.
Although this EP plays with traditionalism, Human Behavior still sounds unlike they ever have – a tradition in itself for a group that always chases the sound of an ever-changing moment.
Cancer: As Seen From Basement is out 4/14/17 on cassette tape through Keeled Scale.
The EP is limited to 50 physical copies released on blood-red cassette wrapped in newsprint with a narrative about the EP. The lyrics are unflinchingly honest and at times hard to digest. Human Behavior’s carefully arranged, visceral music reveals more and more melody with each listen.