Habibi’s gauzy surf rock will have you dreaming of summer | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Habibi’s gauzy surf rock will have you dreaming of summer

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Update: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, this show has been postponed until further notice. Ticket holders can contact the point of purchase for refund or exchange information.


New York-based rock band Habibi can make any show, even one in the last weeks of winter, feel like a humid summer day spent lounging around and eating good food with friends—the good shit. Their music draws from surf rock and chipper 60s girl groups, and though it’s sweet, it never feels saccharine. This is largely a result of their exacting playing: all four members seem to move in lockstep, which allows for every lyric to be directly and clearly communicated. On their latest album, Anywhere but Here (Muddguts), Habibi convey a longing to do something—anything—whether it’s physically going somewhere or falling in love. Sometimes it’s both: on the love song “Hate Everyone but You,” singer Rahill Jamalifard fantasizes about ditching society and moving to the desert with her special someone. Her voice is crucial: it drips with effortless cool, every word and coo charmingly disaffected. It pairs nicely with Habibi’s melodies, which incorporate Middle Eastern influences—most prominently on psychedelic album closer “Come My Habibi,” which sounds just as assured and unfettered as everything they do. Habibi go their own way, but luckily we’re invited along for the ride.   v

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