Hand Habits

Hand Habits – placeholder (album review)

by Woody on March 4, 2019

Photo by Aubrey Trinnamen

I’ve seen Meg Baird play guitar with Kevin Morby’s band a few times and always left bewildered at Meg’s playing. Their first album was more of a sparse affair but for the follow up, everything is so much more complete. And her playing, my goodness. Throughout, I constantly found myself referencing the playing of Nels Cline. Like Cline, Meg’s playing comes across as effortless but you know that they are pouring ounce of their being into every note.

There is a great line from their PR release that defines this album perfectly. 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. Throughout the dozen tracks, you feel as if you’re on a journey with Meg; almost floating above as the experiences are lived out.

I almost feel guilty picking out individual tunes as this truly a perfectly constructed album but jessica (on the front end) and what lovers do (on the back end) smack me between the eyes on every listen. Even if it is on the background, I feel the need to stop and give it my full attention. I suggest you do the same.

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Hand Habits is here

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Photo by Aubrey Trinnamen

Meg Baird is the individual behind Hand Habits. For those unfamiliar with their work, Meg is the lead guitarist for Kevin Morby’s band and can flat-out rip. Placeholder is the follow up to 2017’s Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void). This new tracks sounds a little more fleshed out, a little bigger and a whole lot better than their debut. Here’s some info from the PR team.

The name placeholder stems from Meg’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. “A 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,” Meg says. “These are all real stories. I don’t fictionalize much.”

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Hand Habits is here

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Photo by Robbie Simon

Hand Habits is the moniker of singer/songwriter Meg Duffy. Duffy who’s been playing with Mega Bog and touring with Kevin Morby is releasing her debut LP on Woodist. And if your familiar with Woodist, then you’re going to enjoy this. Here is some words from Kevin Morby. I really enjoy this track. It dovetails nicely with the track from Sarah Bethe Nelson that I posted yesterday.

She has been making an impression on everyone she comes across with her natural charisma and uncharted talent as a multi-instrumentalist. But let Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) be her open invitation to the world to step inside and take a much deeper look into who Duffy actually is. Tracked in an Upstate New York living room, then finished in her current home in Los Angeles – it is appropriate that this album was recorded by Meg herself – for Meg, who has an acute ear for detail, has touched every corner, has seen every vision ’til its end. Because of this, Wildly Idle feels incredibly intimate, like a secret between her and the listener. It hits soft, like warm water, and before you know it it is all around you – a bath, and Meg’s whisper has made its way inside you. Like many bedroom-debuts before it (The Microphones, Jessica Pratt, Little Wings, Grouper) let this be the first of many to come, for Meg has music in her touch – and this is only the beginning. But let us not look to the future now, but instead stand alongside her, our trust in her will, both humble before the void, with her first chorus as the mission statement; ‘hold you like a flower, hold you like an hour glass’.”- Kevin Morby

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Hand Habits is here

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