Human Behavior released their first EP, Sonora, in 2011 in immediate response to the group’s lead singer and songwriter Andres Parada’s stay at Sonora Behavioral Health, a psychiatric treatment facility in Tucson, AZ. Upon release from the hospital, Andres moved to Austin, Minnesota. He lived alone in his Grandmother’s house where he wrote over 40 songs, a musical, and recorded hours of video footage, all of which documented his struggle with depression. Many of those songs appeared on their second release, The Behavior of Death in Mower County.
He soon returned to his hometown of Tucson, AZ and began playing his first live shows as Human Behavior. The solo project of Andres Parada quickly became a sort of dark folk-orchestra, with banjo, accordion, violin, multiple drummers, upright bass, and a 4-piece female choir. In addition, the use of video art in live performances began to evolve.
Human Behavior released their first official full length through Folktale Records in September of 2013, entitled Golgotha. According to the band, the album explores the romance of modern religion and its relationship to suburban loneliness.
It’s not often you stumble across a band that wins your heart within the first few chords. I was looking for a different band, and stumbled across Human Behavior instead. I heard Vintage Dad and I loved it before the song had even made it to the minute mark. Well to be honest when the banjo sets in after around about 25 second mark, I already knew I was going to like this band very, very much.
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Golgotha flows really well, changing pace from roaring, slamming on the banjo to soft, slow, melancholy sitting in front of a window as it rains atmospheres. Every song on this album is truly unique in its mood and construction, made even more eclectic by the intertwining male and female vocals separated by an octave and beautifully arranged choir-like harmonies.
The music seems to be a fusion of rock, folk, bluegrass and has echoes of rogue folk; a mix of folk music and Celtic rock that showcases mandolins, accordions, banjos or violins. I particularly loved the light and shade of the tones, the changes of rhythm and pace, and the passionate, examining lyrics.
Andres Parada has clearly matured multiple life experiences, over and above his musical talents, and has gathered a tight and gifted ensemble around him, whose performances are enhanced by a superbly rootsy production. On the strength of this 13-track album, there can be no doubt that they deserve to have success come their way.
The track which immediately appeared as a standout to me was “I’m Sorry, Hosanna” closely followed by “Not Man”, “I’m Sorry You’re Saul” and “Priscilla”, but this is altogether a great an inseparable body of work.
Golgotha has become one of my favorite releases; I’m only sorry to have waited so long before discovering this band. Human Behavior combines impressive musical skills, with mood-inducing storytelling, and ‘irregular’ instruments and vocals, to form a unique and innovative sound in popular music.
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