Hand Habits – “Aquamarine”
In the two and a half years since Meg Duffy released the last Hand Habits album placeholder, they’ve stayed busy with a lot of projects. In the first half of this year, Duffy returned with the dirt EP and some singles, and just last month Duffy and Joel Ford released an album as Yes/And. At various points, Duffy teased collaborations with Sasami Ashworth and King Tuff’s Kyle Thomas, who they were living with in LA — one song on dirt was made with them and hinted at a larger project to come. Today, Duffy’s back with news detailing that project. It’s a new Hand Habits album called Fun House, and it’s out in October.
While Fun House doesn’t respond directly to all of our experiences in the pandemic, the circumstances of lockdown, quarantine, and touring grinding to a halt were a major influence on Duffy’s headspace when writing Fun House. Here’s what they had to say about the inspiration and process behind the album:
When the pandemic happened, everything stopped. I had been touring consistently for five years, both on my own and playing in other people’s bands, so I wasn’t really writing a lot in between. It had been full pedal to the metal in terms of traveling and scheduling, which meant I really didn’t have a lot of time to think about how I felt or really check in with myself. Then, when the world basically stopped, it turned out to be the longest I’ve been alone in my entire life — without being in a relationship, without being on the road, without working myself to exhaustion — and the result was really like, holy shit. I slammed on the brakes and everything psychologically that I’d been pushing down and ignoring for the past few years suddenly flew to the foreground.
I felt a massive shift in the way that I was seeing the world and seeing myself, moving through certain emotional patterns and behavioral patterns, and really taking them apart. Sasami empowered me to take up a lot of different sonic spaces and challenged me to rethink these limitations that I had about my own identity. I wouldn’t allow myself to step into certain roles because of the little box I was putting myself in based on all of these false narratives that I had come to believe about myself. I think this also coincides with my trans identity too, because so much of that journey for me has been me really fighting against what I’m not “allowed” to be.
Along with the announcement, Duffy has shared a lead single called “Aquamarine.” “What originally started as a minimally arranged acoustic ballad, ‘Aquamarine’ evolved into the story of certain events in life, what informs my identity, the silence in the questions left unanswered that become the shape of understanding who I am,” Duffy explained in a press release. “It was my goal to cloak some of the perils of mortality (lyrically) in a musical landscape that didn’t require the listener for a large amount of patience, to bring grief into the metaphorical club.” The song also comes with a video directed by V Haddad, filmed in one shot at Duffy’s aunt’s bar and club in upstate New York. Check it out below.
01 “More Than Love”
03 “Just To Hear You” (Feat. Perfume Genius)
04 “No Difference”
06 “False Start”
07 “Clean Air”
08 “Concrete & Feathers”
09 “The Answer”
Fun House is out 10/22 via Saddle Creek. Pre-order it here.