Artist to Watch: The Habits Ignite with Electric Energy in New EP ‘What’s the Worst That Could Happen?’

The Habits © Ian Baca
A wellspring of feverish indie rock energy and alt-pop finesse, The Habits’ sophomore EP ‘What’s the Worst That Could Happen?’ is an electrifying and honest tour de force capturing a band in their element and in their prime.
for fans of Young Rising Sons, twenty one pilots, Neon Trees, Cage the Elephant
‘What’s The Worst That Could Happen?’ EP – The Habits




Having fun with a little depression – cheers to the bad vibes; waking up, do my best impression of a singer with the stars in his eyes…

The Habits have tapped into something visceral on their sophomore EP, and no, it’s not a “sad boy state of mind”; quite the opposite, in fact. Simultaneously tongue-in-cheek and wholeheartedly serious, What’s the Worst That Could Happen? is a mantra, a thesis, an anthem, and a way of life: There is no more fitting a title for a 2020 body of work, and yet it has absolutely nothing to do with the global pandemic we find ourselves currently living through today. A wellspring of feverish indie rock energy and alt-pop finesse, The Habits’ sophomore EP is an electrifying and honest tour de force capturing a band in their element and in their prime.

It’s love and heartbreak, pain and passion, intimacy and ecstasy packaged in a tight, dynamic fifteen-minute outpouring of catchy, galvanizing music sure to get stuck in listeners heads – and eventually, their hearts.

What's the Worst That Could Happen? - The Habits

What’s the Worst That Could Happen? – The Habits

I kinda thought the world would change
But everything is just the same
It’s only love, it’s only love
How could you do this to me?
You came along, I’ll never leave
It’s only love, it’s only love
It’s only love
What’s the worst that could happen?
I could get addicted to the sound you laughing
We could die together from our fatal attraction
Oh, it’s only love

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering The Habits’ sophomore EP What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, independently out October 23, 2020. Debuting just under three years ago, The Habits hail from the “blue-collar town of San Pedro, California” and consider themselves more brothers than bandmates.

Currently a duo consisting of singer/guitarist Wolf Bradley and drummer Andrew Macatrao, The Habits first caught our ears and eyes two years ago with their third single “Calling Me Up,” which also premiered on Atwood Magazine. At the time, we wrote, “The Habits deliver exciting indie pop full of shimmering guitars, fiery vocals, and buoyant melodies,” praising the band for crafting “a special combination of love and tension… brimming with euphoric indie pop energy and frenetic, love-fueled passion.”

The past two years have seen The Habits go through some internal changes as the world slowly takes notice of their talent. “Calling Me Up” remains the band’s most-streamed single (with over 130,000+ global Spotify listens to date), while the song “Casual” spent eight weeks in the Top 5 of The World Famous KROQ’s ‘Locals Only’ and reached #1, and their 2020 summer single single “After Party” spent six weeks in the Top 5 of KROQ’s Locals Only countdown. Perhaps with this new EP out in the world, folks will finally wake up to what this talented band has to offer.

The Habits © Ian Baca

The Habits © Ian Baca



What’s the Worst That Could Happen? is an invigorating, refreshing wash of intimate lyricism and ecstatic pop/rock.

It’s the kind of music that lights your nights on fire, and keeps the days exciting and new. A musical mélange of indie pop and indie rock (they’ll bring everyone from Neon Trees and Young Rising Sons, to twenty one pilots, COIN, and Cage the Elephant to mind), The Habits have made a tight series of memorable melodies brimming with meaning and sincerity.

“It’s funny because the name ‘What’s The Worst That Could Happen?‘ was thought of at the beginning of the year, before 2020 showed the world pretty much what the worst that could happen was,” Wolf Bradley tells Atwood Magazine, reflecting on the band’s new EP. “Andrew and I met Ben Cassorla (co-writer and producer) last September and quickly realized we’d found our missing musical piece of the puzzle. We just started writing songs that sounded like whatever we wanted and felt like they should be. We trusted where the songs took us and were along for the ride.”

He continues, “We wanted to be as vulnerable and raw as possible, both lyrically and sonically. We’re no strangers to pouring our hearts out in songs, but this body of work is different. It feels like a level up. It feels like we found what we’ve been looking for in our art. This EP follows the story of a relationship on the rocks and the internal battles that come with loving, not only your significant other, but also yourself. Both can be awfully challenging and completely fulfilling. We wanted it to be emotional from start to finish, while still being fun to scream at the top of your lungs while driving down the highway or getting out all that angst in your room or at a concert where everyone is feeling a sense of community and relating it to their own lives. Music is a powerful thing and we felt a little lost for a time. Writing and recording these songs brought us back. We’ve started using “what’s the worst that could happen?” as a mantra for how we live our lives. We’re infinitely more confident and willing to take big risks with our art and just go for it. We can say with all honesty, this body of work is our most authentic offering yet and we couldn’t be prouder.”

We wanted to be as vulnerable and raw as possible, both lyrically and sonically. We’re no strangers to pouring our hearts out in songs, but this body of work is different.



Speaking candidly, this is the kind of EP you want to repeat the second it’s over – because the party ends far too soon, and leaves us longing for more from The Habits. If “It’s Only Love” sets the tone with a musical, in-your-face overhaul, then the bittersweet love-ish song “Amelia” seals the deal with sweet licks and heated lyrics of a relationship in trouble. “Hey! Wait! This is just a part of love, Hey! Wait! It’s easy, but sometimes it’s rough.” Bradley sings in a sterling falsetto. “Amelia, no need to panic now… Amelia, It’s all romantic now. Amelia, let’s slow the automatic – I think we’re both dramatic; this won’t go like Titanic, no.” It’s an easy favorite flying high with charged emotion and souped up passion.

I think I’ve got it wrong
Always see green when flags are red
Live for the moments not the truth
With you we always disagree
But in between there’s something sweet
Hey
Wait
It’s easy, but sometimes it’s rough
It’s easy, but sometimes it’s rough
Amelia
No need to panic now
Amelia
It’s all romantic now
Amelia
Let’s slow the automatic
I think we’re both dramatic
This won’t go like Titanic, no
Like Titanic, no


His words speak to a relationship in trouble, and yet they slip off the tongue with effortless grace. This remains the case for the breakneck punk rock-inspired number “4Runner,” the pristinely-fashioned pop jam “Shoulders,” and the cinematic closer, “breathe!” – a finale that ensures The Habits end on the highest of high notes:

Getting on with my quarter life crisis watch it like a movie
All my friends try to give me advice, but yada yada shoot me
And I, it’s like I’m sleeping on a knifes’ edge every night
And I, I’m so over this sad boy state of mind
Breathe in, breathe out
The pressure’s building now
Just scream it loud
Without a doubt
I’m doing all I can
My candle’s burning at the ends
No matter what
Breathe in, breathe out
That’s all I got
Having fun with a little depression cheers to the bad vibes
Waking up do my best impression of a singer with the stars in his eyes
And I, it’s like I’m sleeping on a knifes’ edge every night
And I, I’m so over this sad boy state of mind

Somebody save me I forgot to be perfect / while I’m complaining I forgot you get what you give…

The Habits © Ian Baca

The Habits © Ian Baca




If you’re going to have a music addiction, let The Habits be a part of your regular diet.

With What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, this West Coast duo have solidified their spot as a definitive artist-to-watch – one of the freshest, need-to-know acts coming out of Los Angeles today.

Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside The Habits’ What’s the Worst That Could Happen? with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their sophomore EP!

We wanted it to be emotional from start to finish, while still being fun to scream at the top of your lungs!

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‘What’s The Worst That Could Happen?’ EP – The Habits



:: Inside What’s the Worst That Could Happen? ::

What's the Worst That Could Happen? - The Habits

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It’s Only Love

Wolf – Posing the question, “It’s only love, what’s the worst that could happen?”, this songs’ concept is the overall theme and the start of the almost linear story of the whole EP. This song deals with the fear of admitting to yourself that you are in fact in love. Then once you admit it, trying to downplay the seriousness of the feeling and situation. Lyrically the verses waffle between “everything is fine and the same and no big deal” to, “I’m so deeply in love if you ever leave me I don’t know what to do with myself!” It’s upbeat and poppy, but there’s a hint of melancholy because the thought of being in love brings on the fear of losing them. This song is all about grappling with that sentiment.
Andrew – The first words you hear in the song are said by our producer Ben, he was counting us in and said “1, 2, 4, 4!” for some reason. I had to hold back from laughing once I started playing. There’s something frantic about that drum beat in the verse that I love.

Amelia

Wolf – Holding on to a love on the rocks is difficult. Trying to save a romance shouldn’t be as hard as what’s portrayed in this song. The love is there and very real, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. Where “It’s Only Love” denies the start of a relationship, this song denies the impending end. It’s not that anyone has done anything wrong, it’s just that it takes effort to make things work. Loving someone is easy, but sometimes it’s rough.
Andrew – When I wrote the drums for this song I wanted them to be pretty chill. The bass line is so groovy, so I kinda play along with that. During the writing of this song with Wolf and Ben, before we decided on what to say during the chorus we kept singing “Pistachio” in place of what later became “Amelia”.

4Runner

Wolf – As the most lyrically petty and sonically punky track on the EP, this song is all about that post break up frustration and resentment. Deep in the throes of grief, anger sticks its neck into the conversation. We love this one because it really feels like the music we grew up jamming out to in our angst filled youth. Recording the group vocals for this song was a highlight in the recording process for sure.
Andrew – I feel nostalgia once this song starts. The guitar riff reminds me of wanting to watch all my favorite bands growing up. The drum beat is fast and simple, it has punk influence for sure. When the horns come in during the second chorus It feels like ska to me. The lyrics have so much honesty in them, but still aren’t taken too seriously.

Shoulders

Wolf – This song is about coming to terms with heartbreak and the beginning of the self reflection process. I felt very down for about 6 months and then turned a corner and started really diving into what was making me feel this way. Slowly, I started shedding that baggage and feeling that weight fall off my shoulders. Mental well being is always a work in progress, but keep staring at the sky and keep going.
Andrew – This song is a great representation of our mindset this year. Moving on from caring so much about what others think and focusing on what we really want. The drums are straightforward and drive the song.

breathe!

Wolf – Writing this song was so cathartic. It is the best representation of me as a person and how I cope with life. It was fun to be humorous in the verses and strike that serious note in the chorus. We’re all going through our own problems and just doing our best. It tackles anxiety and depression in the only lyrical way I can. It ends on a hopeful note because what’s the point if you can’t find that seed of hope. It’s so powerful when you look around and appreciate what you have and the person you’ve become. The song feels like something I would want to go to a show and scream at the top of my lungs and we can’t wait to play it live and feel all these emotions with our fans.
Andrew – While recording this song the drums in the verse changed a lot. I felt like there’s a little bit of a hip hop vibe in the song that I wanted to lean into, which ended up being the final beat. The drums in the end of the song were all improvised. We recorded about 5 takes of pure chaos and picked pieces from each one.

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What's the Worst That Could Happen? - The Habits

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com