Listen to Genevieve Stokes' Gut-Wrenching New Single

Listen to Genevieve Stokes' Gut-Wrenching New Single

by Justine Fisher

Genevieve Stokes' new single is finally here. After teasing the song with viral clips on TikTok, the 21-year-old singer, songwriter and pianist drops “Habits” today.

On the heels of her debut EP, Swimming Lessons, and subsequent tour dates, Stokes tells the story of longing and heartache in an on-again, off-again relationship. Stokes said, “I wrote ‘Habits’ when I was resisting the inevitable changes that needed to happen in my life and felt trapped by my own thought patterns and relationships.”

Mask: Bella Harvey

Though her unique alt-pop sound is influenced by iconic musicians like Cat Power and Regina Spektor, Stokes said her recent songwriting has been “inspired by fairytales and by revisiting childhood.” For “Habits,” she was particularly intrigued by Alice in Wonderland and “the idea of going down the rabbit hole.”

Developing the stream-of-consciousness song, she said, “I wanted to capture the world that I visit while writing, and the feeling of growing up but still retaining a childlike wonderment.” That world is maintained in her ethereal visualizer, premiering today. Shot in Stokes’ backyard in Portland, Maine, the video is a part of a larger vision Stokes has for her music.

Comic: Madeline Haze Curtis

Including hand-made comics and masks, Stokes said, “All of the visuals build a narrative throughout my new music and the visualizer for ‘Habits’ is the first glimpse into this world.” Drawn by her sister Madeline, she said the comics “serve as a prologue to each music video and introduce the storyline and setting.” Then, the masks, which were made by Bella Harvey, are not only featured in the visualizer but will re-emerge in future music videos.

As Stokes channels beautiful scenery and performs gut-wrenching ballads, if you are getting Phoebe Bridgers vibes, it may have something to do with her producer. She collaborated with the esteemed producer, Tony Berg, who is known for working with Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Paul McCartney. Though Stokes said she was initially overwhelmed and “cried in front of him for an hour,” she ultimately appreciated Berg challenging her. She said, “I learned to express my opinions more confidently and know the artist I want to be.”

Telling the story of emotional turbulence and self-pity, Stokes’ “Habits” is streaming now.

Photo courtesy of Abbie Pitre