Photo: Jacob Boll

Hand Habits delves into identity on beautifully tinted “Aquamarine”, announces new album

Following on from the release of the dirt EP from February, Meg Duffy aka Hand Habits has announced their new album: it’s called Fun House and comes out on October 22 through Saddle Creek. As was revealed previously, it was produced with SASAMI. The first song to be shared from the record is “Aquamarine”, with Duffy saying:

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. 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.”

Duffy has grown quite a reputation as a guitarist through their time touring in Kevin Morby and Perfume Genius’ bands, not to mention in their own work, so it’s quite a surprise to hear “Aquamarine” as an almost entirely synth-based song. It bubbles forth on propulsive pulses and drumming while a melange of other pastel hues percolate around the edges. This comforting environment leaves space for Duffy to open up about formative moments in their life; “I remember when I found you / clinging on to the gutter.” The shifting sound environment makes the words into a lucid dream, so we’re never sure if we’re in Duffy’s perspective or if they’re viewing themselves from the outside, while the timeline is completely non-linear. This only adds to the resonance of the song, which features many stark images of drunkenness, suicide and losing identity, but it’s presented so lovingly that they don’t feel harsh – they feel like important building blocks towards Duffy’s self-discovery.

“Aquamarine” comes with a one shot video starring Duffy and filmed by V Haddad. Duffy says:

We filmed this video in my aunt’s bar and club in upstate New York, linking the origin and lineage themes in the song with the visuals of changing identities and characters in a space I used to wander as a teen.”

Watch the video below or find “Aquamarine” on streaming platforms.

Hand Habits’ new album Fun House arrives on October 22 through Saddle Creek (pre-order/save). You can find Hand Habits on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.