Obsessions: Shaking the HABITUAL Playlist

Borrowing a title from The Knife’s latest album, this mid-Autumn mix of music is all about the disruption—early sunsets, layers, fallen leaves—that the season brings. From the HABITUAL studio to you, enjoy these tunes designed to welcome the changes in daily rituals as we prepare for the winter ahead.

The Knife’s “Hole in the Head” from Shaking the Habitual (released earlier this year) pairs polyrhythmic beats, electronica and their trademark metallic vocals with steel drums and other tropical sounds in a song that makes an ideal soundtrack for the morning commute or any appropriate pleasure-meets-pain moment.

Larry Gus’ “Pericles” is maybe the ultimate mash-up from the an artist whose layers upon layers of sound make for an intricate patchwork of music. From ’60s and ’70s jazz grooves to psychedelic rock and plentiful samples, all tied together with driving polyrhythms, this track is wonderfully weird, dark, and perfect to get you through a workday afternoon.

Like Gary Clark Jr., Willis Earl Beal is another favorite bluesman interpreting the genre with his own unique swagger. With a Tom Waits growl and a feverish pitch, “Hole in the Roof” builds a classic backbeat and an organ to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins heights.

The duo Conrad Praetzel and Robert Powell combine traditional folk and contemporary sounds in their project Clothesline Revival. From their 2002 album Of My Native Land, “Calling Trains” samples a 1936 recording of an unidentified train caller for a dreamy take on Americana.

Anne McCue‘s bluesy song titled “Hangman,” gets punctuation from the desolate sounds of her lap steel guitar for a ballad to dark nights and even darker people.

To truly embrace the depths of the season, we count on Fever Ray (being the earlier iteration of The Knife of course) and tracks like “The Wolf” that channel the heart of a black forest and all the mysteries within it.

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