Anyone who as heard music created by Meg Duffy can agree that her talent is undeniable. Whether it’s playing guitar for Kevin Morby and supplying this amazing backbone to his music, or her own project, Hand Habits, her music is impressive. Her debut LP as Hand Habits, Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void) is a testament to her skills, both as a musician and a lyricist. It was recorded by herself in a living room in upstate New York, and the whole record has that upstate New York vibe to it, complete with a warm fireplace. Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) was released February 10 on Woodsist.
Right from the first track, you can hear the beauty in Duffy’s music. “Flower Glass” starts out with just Duffy singing over a lightly finger-picked guitar while perfectly sublime electric and drums join in here and there, creating this stunner of a track. The lyrics and delivery on “Actress” will get stuck in your head. It’s such a dreamy track, with vocal harmonies, reverb-laden guitar and even a little reversed guitar part as well. The album is broken up with “scenes” which are these ambient synth tracks with distorted voices in the background.
“In Between” goes to another level, it’s got this lo-fi folk vibe that builds quite nicely. “All The While” is without a doubt one of the year’s best tracks. It’s got this wonderful bass line, with Duffy’s voice floating above it, singing “All the while the rain will fall/I still feel the same/And all the while the wind will blow/I don’t hear your name” before the song kicks into a brilliant solo that helps the track stand out.
“Book on How To Change” is another spellbinding track. From the entrancing guitar work to the lush harmonies. Throughout there is this rumbling guitar that lurks until it comes front and center at just the right point. “Bad Boy” is almost a jarring departure, full of noise, before it becomes this huge sound at the end, and amazing lead in to the final track, “New Bones”. The song ends the record beautifully, with perfectly executed steel guitar layered underneath Duffy’s voice and acoustic guitar.
Hand Habits’ debut LP Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void) is a gorgeous record. It is intimate, it is warm, and most of all it is captivating. From the lush vocals throughout to the mesmerizing guitar work, there is no weak moment on Wildly Idle. Duffy has crafted a timeless album that will stick with all those who listen to it.
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