Bournemouth’s forgotten music scene: Habitats at Sixty Million Postcards

habitats

In the first of a new series of features exploring Bournemouth’s music scene, Nerve Entertainment speaks with Indie alternative band Habitats whilst capturing their performance at Sixty Million Postcards.

Words by Hope Frost

Last Thursday Habitats descended on Bournemouth with their self-described brand of ‘groovy indie rock’. The crowd at Sixty Million Postcards were graced with their upbeat vibes and acrobatic dance moves that could warm up any chilly February evening. Nerve Entertainment spoke with the band about everything from playing with chalk to eating pretzels.

Sat at the back of Sixty Million, guitarist Joe, invited us over as he attempted to round up the rest of the band. They’re a laid-back bunch who seem to have a really tight chemistry. They’ve been together for four years, originally meeting through college and skating, which would explain how well they vibe off each other. I asked the boys where the name came from and the story is a testament to that attitude;

“We chose it by writing loads of ideas down in chalk in the garden, of what was the band house at the time. It was really random, we just put them all down on the concrete and then we came up with Habitats, so we decided to roll with it.”

They kicked the gig off with ‘Turn Down the Sun’, from their 2015 ‘Diamond Days’ EP.

The intro to the track got the crowd boogying straight away, as it gained momentum and got everyone moving along to the funky bass and a psychedelic guitar riffs. The band take a relaxed approach to the idea of a front man and kind of dance around the stage as they please, climbing on top of amps and bass drums. This compliments the fluid nature of their gigs as they slip seamlessly into each track.

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For a band that describe their sound as ‘rough around the edges’, they played an incredibly tight set. From the first song you could see that they have mastered their live performances, and clearly enjoy what they are doing – which is refreshing to see in a time of sulky and generic indie rock.

“There’s obviously certain people we all really love, but there are bands that we’ll listen to individually as well because we all like different stuff – we just sit in a room and make music really.”

What makes Habitats stand out the most is the rounded sound they create, touching on various genres and creating catchy tracks that are exciting to listen to. When I asked them what they want people to feel when they hear a Habitats tune, Joe said all he wants is “a smiling face and foot tap”, and they achieve much more than that.

This sound could easily stem from the huge range of the influences that the guys have, and when I asked them about this they couldn’t pin it down, which is actually a good thing for their music.

“There’s obviously certain people we all really love, but there are bands that we’ll listen to individually as well because we all like different stuff – we just sit in a room and make music really.”

You can hear this in their newest track ‘Guilty Pleasure’, which sounds like what only could be described as a party in a rainforest. It’s one of their most refined tracks whilst their classic Habitats lackadaisical attitude still shines through. The track revolves around a fluid and funky guitar riff with a bass line that grounds the song, as the drum beat lets the momentum of the track rise and fall.

Though the boys wrote the lyrics for the track in their manager’s office the night before it was recorded, they touch on some intriguing ideas as Joe described;

“Lyrics wise you can make of it what you wish. Guilty pleasures are an interesting concept, everyone has them. The inspiration could have maybe come from messing up a couple of times as well, we all make mistakes and I had made a couple at that time.”

The track was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, which they said they got by ‘pure luck’ and it sounded like a crazy experience.

“For starters, when we got there we were in the canteen – the food is like high grade gourmet – and as soon as we sat down Giles Martin just strolls past us. Stefano, the guy that produced our track, was like ‘that’s Giles Martin he produced ‘Love’ by The Beatles.’, and me and Mike just freaked out.”

‘Peace of Mind’, was the next track the crowd got to boogey to. This is one of their more indie tunes with a catchy chorus that you can’t help but sing along with. The track is also really upbeat which made for a buoyant and bouncy atmosphere in Sixty. It’s clear that the group know how to put together a funky backing, and this song is no different with its thick melody and vibrant guitar riffs. The gig came at a good time as well, as we’re in a time where we need a bit of a dance and to be cheered up. Mike seemed well aware of this as he said to the crowd “we’re going to play Peace of Mind because we’ve got nothing to worry about…right? Not with Donald Trump or anything…”

This ability to put a smile on the faces of the indie rockers could be one of the reasons why the band have been so well received, with their first single ‘Diamond Days’ being a winner from the get-go.

“When Diamond Days came out on Soundcloud it blew up, and it was actually number one in Lithuania, it was so random. We put the track up and it started to get plays and plays and we were just blown away’.

Lithuania wasn’t the only place the sweet tropical vibes of Habitats flowed, as the boys recall “When we went to Germany to play, we were sat eating pretzels and German sausage and it came on the radio on one of their main stations, it was crazy.”

The music world should be excited about what this funky indie rock band produces in the future.


Watch the music video to ‘Peace of Mind’ here: