Who says club music need be unsubstantial? Just for dancing? Melbourne, Australia seems to have found a happy medium between infectious beats and weighty lyricism and compositions in electronic duo Habits. Their new self-produced, self-released single, “Shame / Desire,” is among the best and most exciting examples of contemporary DIY dance music, exhibiting bleak self-reflection, weird moods, and a cathartic pulse whose motion is nothing short of undeniable. A tangled knot of sounds starts the track off, simultaneously confounding you and drawing you in. It quickly unravels, and the initial phase of warbled, throbbing bass and troubled vocals is laid out in front of you. And it only grows in intricacy and intensity as it pushes forward. Why don’t we have this here? Complicit jerks, we are. Mohini Hillyer and Maia Connolly have been performing under the moniker of Habits since 2013, and they’re not on anyone’s radar, at least not nearly as much as they ought to be. Australia seems to have them all to itself.
Anywho, their progression of sound promises a profound experience rooted in swaying hips and/or a shook head. Sustained bass drops throb like your broken heart, bolstering lyrics like, “My insecurity isn’t cute anymore.” The effected drums bring you to a room so filled with fog you can’t focus on what you can’t see, and you can’t see anything but your feet. It’s something that’s probably always been missing from the pulp of American club music. Thoughtfulness, I mean.