Photo: Kovi Konowiecki

Hand Habits aims for a healthier mind on “4th of july”, co-produced with SASAMI

Last month Meg Duffy aka Hand Habits shared a photo with Sasami Ashworth, saying the pair had almost completed work on the third HH album. Before we get more concrete news on that, Duffy has revealed plans for a new three-track EP called dirt, arriving on February 19. dirt will feature two new songs, “4th of july” and “i believe in you”, as well as a Katie Dey remix of “what’s the use” from the previous Hand Habits album placeholder.

Today we get to hear the first fruit of the Hand Habits-SASAMI team up in “4th of july”, about which Duffy says: “‘4th of july’ feels like trying again, rolling around in the wreckage of the past and finding new ways out of the maze of memory.

“4th of july” begins in classic Hand Habits style, with a countrified lilt to Duffy’s acoustic guitar-and-voice, their tender vocal singing poetically about subtle changes in the psyche, soothingly singing “don’t cry demolition baby / always blowing it up / and getting so stuck / both hands in the dirt.”

But then, when it comes to the second chorus, the track takes a sonic leap unlike any we’ve heard on a Hand Habits song previously, with big galloping drums charging the song with greater presence. This emphasis is aided by lashings of pedal steel, meticulously layered vocals (and shouts) and a more confident-sounding, forthright vocal from Duffy. Like all good singles between albums, it forms a clear connection between where Hand Habits was, and where they seem to be heading – we can’t wait to hear what’s next.

The video for “4th of july” was created by V Haddad and Adam Gundersheimer, with Duffy saying: “I went to V and Adam and said I wanted to ‘just dig a hole’ and they turned that idea into a cinematic version of what it looks like to try and get to the bottom of a feeling.”

Watch it below or listen to “4th of july” on streaming platforms.

“4th of july” is out today via Saddle Creek with Hand Habits’ dirt EP arriving on February 19 (pre-order). You can find Hand Habits on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.