Since their start in late 2012, Human Behavior has been interpreting Americana through an abstract lens. They combine the imagery of American gospel music with freak-folk experimentalism. They have opened for Xiu Xiu, Waxahatchee, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Emperor X, and played a Burger Records Showcase. Human Behavior has built a devoted following, across the United States and elsewhere, and is currently touring in support of their new album, Bethphage.
Before Bethphage, Human Behavior recorded all of their music in closets and bedrooms, but this time they decided to try something different and team up with Saint Cecilia Studios. Human Behavior has always been an ever-changing lineup, ranging from one to thirteen members, Andres Parada, songwriter and videographer, is the one steadfast component.
I listen to this album and it paints so much emotion for me. Andres Parada’s voice is so naked and the lyrics dive into the bloodstream where they live and reign. I think what this album ultimately proves is that Parada knows how to beautifully craft his roots and influences into a style all his own. He brings passion and integrity to his work despite some cuts and bruises and in so doing, music lovers, stand up and take notice.
I suppose you might need to be in the mood for an album like this (and some songs might even be a bit long, but what could you remove?): it’s depressing stuff if you’re a lyrics person, but it doesn’t have that effect on me. The melodies are so gorgeous, and Parada’s vocal delivery is so passionate, it’s impossible to resist.
There are not many other albums that can portray the emotions of guilt, depression, desperation, and desolation better than Bethphage. You listen to this album and end up feeling exactly how Andres Parada’s wants you to feel, and he wants you to feel that life can indeed be hell, depending on your point of view. He is absolutely genius in this tour de force of painfully true emotions.
Human Behavior is a rarity in today’s world of bland radio-friendly popular music. This is a perfect album for a cold winter’s day, sitting and watching the rain fall. With an ability to fuse gospel imagery with alt-folk grit and a vocal style that is nothing short of hypnotic, the 8 songs – or ‘Chapters’ as each track is named and numbered – on Bethphage is absolutely spellbinding.
Everyone who loves the craft of songwriting and the emotions involved should own Bethphage. It is hard to pick a favorite song since they are all unique in their musical and lyrical portrayal of repudiation and melancholy. Generally, I feel that songs should not be extracted individually for listening to, but rather the album should be played from front to back when you have the available space and time.
All things considered, Human Behavior and project leader, Andres Parada, has yet again put together a fine album that proves his consistently excellent knack for emotional song craft has not at all been diluted since the releases of Golgotha and Eat The Wind.
In a music industry where mindless pop clogs our charts, it is inevitable that a musician such as Andres Parada will build momentum and popularity more slowly over time. The second installment in a trilogy of albums by Human Behavior, Bethphage is now available from multiple outlets, and Human Behavior has also self-released the album digitally via Bandcamp.