Habit Trail
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Habit Trail

Band Country Alternative

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Discography

LP - Fear Your Ear
LP - Habit Trail
EP - Let's Go Writing/Turning Mid-Young
LP - Rabbit Tail
LP - Drifting On Off Of The Shoulder

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Bio

Habit Trail is the name under which songwriter and guitarist Dave Novak has released his varied musical projects since the early 1990s, when the first incarnation of the group was a crucial part of the emerging Northwest indie scene in Portland, Oregon. Since Novak relocated to New York City at the turn of the millennium, Habit Trail has slowly been honed into a solid country-rock bar band whose live shows in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn have built a following with their “eccentric but surprisingly original“ songs, delivered with “drunken panache.”
Their music reflects a unique alchemy between the rootsy musicianship and smooth emotional delivery of country and the folky dirt, oblique lyrics, and noisy energy of Habit Trail’s earlier incarnations. While tracks like “Deserted Heart” and “Mr. Daniels” shimmer with a sparkling classic country-rock sound (delivered with the help of pedal steel guitarist Bob Hoffnar), songs like “Juiced” and “Chinese Medicine” ring with a loose punky intensity, perhaps best captured by the band’s stripped-down reinterpretation of country punker Exene Cervenka’s “Good Luck” (expertly chanted by Jen Gherardi).
Novak describes the challenge of writing country songs as a way to get to the heart of what makes a great pop song: “The country stuff I’m most interested is extremely commercial – they're hit songs, from a time when country was just part of what was happening in pop music, what was on the radio. But country songs are in a more controlled form than what rock songs became later on ; emotionally, you have to say a lot within a very strict verse-chorus structure. To write a country song that feels real, you can’t just go back and recreate those classic records -- you’ve got to tread a new path through really well-worn images and places, to let the bottles, and bar rooms, and jukeboxes, and highways form their own little world.”