RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Soccer Mommy, Kevin Morby
Label: Saddle Creek
Love me some dusty female vocals. It’s kinda the hot trend these days, but I’m all about it so keep it coming. But don’t get me wrong, Hand Habits is no trend, I loved her first album, but she does find herself very relevant right now. But this is the kind of music i could spin all day while slowly swinging in the hammock in my backyard. Wow, that sounds real nice right now. welp, see ya.
Saddle Creek Store Exclusive:
Olive green and clear color-in-color vinyl limited to 250 copies.
LP PACKAGING NOTES
Printed inner sleeve
Includes download card
Meg Duffy grew up in a small town in Upstate New York and they cut their teeth as a session guitarist and touring member of Kevin Morbyâ€™s band. The Hand Habits project emerged after Meg moved to Los Angeles; it started as a private songwriting outlet but soon evolved into a fully-fledged band with Meg at the helm. Hand Habitsâ€™ debut album, Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), was released by Woodsist Records in 2017. The LP was entirely self-produced and recorded in Megâ€™s home during spare moments when they werenâ€™t touring. Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) is a lush, homespun collection of folk songs that found Meg in an exploratory state as an artist moving out on their own for the first time.
Two years later, Hand Habits has returned with their sophomore album, placeholder. To make this album, Meg chose to work in a studio and bring in collaborators, entrusting them with what had previously been a very personal creative process. Over the course of 12 tracks, Meg emerges with new confidence as both a bandleader and singer. This album is as tender and immediate as anything Megâ€™s ever written, but itâ€™s also intensely focused and refined, the work of a meticulous musician ready to share their singular vision with the world.
The name placeholder stems from Megâ€™s fascination with the undefinable. Their songs serve as openings -- carved-out spaces waiting to be endowed with meaning. As a lyricist, Meg is drawn to the in-between, and the songs on this new album primarily confront the ways in which certain experiences can serve as a stepping stone on the road to self-discovery. â€śA big aspect of my songwriting and the way I move through the world depends on my relationships with people. The songs on placeholder are about accountability and forgiveness,â€ť Meg says. â€śThese are all real stories. I donâ€™t fictionalize much.â€ť
Meg describes these songs as their most direct to date, crafted with clear intention, and unlike Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), placeholder doesnâ€™t meander. â€śItâ€™s less of a submerged landscape and more a concise series of thoughts,â€ť Meg explains. Instrumentally, placeholder can be situated alongside some of Megâ€™s folk-adjacent contemporaries like Angel Olsen or Big Thief, and the guitar work on this album proves that Meg continues to be one of the finest young musicians working today. placeholder is another entry in the Hand Habits songbook, but itâ€™s also a valuable testament of our time. While placeholder inspires a sense of ease, simple questions rarely beget easy answers and Meg honors the indescribable joy and profound sorrow that comes with figuring things out, one step at a time.
Release Date: March 1st, 2019
2. canâ€™t calm down
5. yr heart [reprise]
7. are you serious?
9. whatâ€™s the use
11. what lovers do
12. the book on how to change part II
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive