Hand Habits Share Video for New Song “Private Life” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, December 10th, 2023  

Hand Habits Share Video for New Song “Private Life”

Sugar the Bruise Due Out June 16 via Fat Possum

May 02, 2023 Photography by Aubrey Trinnaman
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Hand Habits (aka Meg Duffy, who uses they/them pronouns) is releasing a new EP (or mini-album), Sugar the Bruise, on June 16 via Fat Possum. Now they have shared its second single, “Private Life,” via a music video. Otium directed the video, which features Duffy as a pool cleaner. Watch it below, followed by Hand Habits’ upcoming tour dates.

Previously Hand Habits shared Sugar the Bruise’s first single, “Something Wrong,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.

Duffy taught a month-long songwriting class in the summer of 2021 and that helped inspire the new collection of songs. Duffy worked with Luke Temple (Here We Go Magic, Art Feynman) and Philip Weinrobe (Adrienne Lenker, Cass McCombs) on Sugar the Bruise.

Duffy had this to say about Sugar the Bruise in a previous press release:

“Music, for me, has always been a spoonful of honey easing the intermittent and inescapable bitterness of the human experience. It’s been a thick sweetness in my loneliest moments. In my earliest memories of playing music, whether alone or in a group, the feeling of being connected to a greater force beyond explanation is the one that shines through. I’ve been deeply committed to the path of conjuring this elusive yet poignant feeling through playing guitar, through making songs and sounds and sharing them with others. Before I started writing songs with verses and choruses, improvising was primarily how I found myself in musical settings. It is still a bright beacon of my approach to songwriting and composition. Sonny Rollins said that improvisation is about forgetting, not remembering. That when one’s mind goes blank, the ideas that come are from an untraceable source. I find that the songs I feel the most connected to come from this source-from the voidal space of the unknown. There is something euphoric to me about entering this void with intention, with other people, in a studio setting. The desire to disappear within a song or a melody or a groove or unexpected dissonance is what keeps me always listening, always searching. I believe this desire is inextricable from the risk of ‘failure’ or making ‘mistakes.’

“In August of 2021 I was asked to teach a month-long class on songwriting at School of Song. It was both inspiring and terrifying. I hesitated to consider myself a Songwriter, despite having released three records, let alone enough to teach others how to do it my way. In preparing for this course I examined my own approach with a close eye (at times too close for comfort). I realized how vital improvisation and collaboration are to me; in life and in songwriting. I was asked to design writing prompts, and although this was not typically how I would write left to my own devices, I found it to be a wonderful way to get the wheels of inspiration turning. I also cherished how special it was to see all of these other musicians, some new, some contemporaries, rising to the occasion and following themselves into the unknown.

“For Sugar the Bruise, I had no plan other than to let my mind go blank, and lean into the playful side of things. To laugh a little, to lighten up, to shift the focus off of my own experience a bit. What if making a song didn’t mean dredging up the abyss? Of course, at baseline I am pulled towards nourishing the unfolding of memory into something beautiful, something archetypal/universal, and sharing it with you. And like all good muses, it’s easy to project whatever narrative you are carrying onto them.

“The record was co-produced by my dear friend Luke Temple (Here We Go Magic, Art Feynman). We had worked together before on two of my songs and I felt inspired by the open plan, present moment, open approach to production Luke has. As a chronic over-planner, this got me out of my comfort zone of feigned control. I loved what we made and how I felt during those sessions, the doubt and fear being equal characters to the euphoria and pride. I think trust was the herald to transcendence. I was curious about exploring this further- making something out of nothing, with even less of an idea what might be birthed from the void. Alongside engineer/producer Jeremy Harris and brought over the finish line with additional production, arranging, and mixing by beloved collaborator Phillip Weinrobe, this record turned out nothing like I’d imagined it would.

“So I hope you enjoy this collection of songs. I like to think of them akin to a novella or short film. My wish is that these songs provide a mirror to those who can’t find their own ways to explain the knots of twisted emotions we all deal with.

“I offer you a little sugar to the bruise of being born. A little sugar to the bruise of existence.”

Last September Hand Habits shared two new singles: “Greatest Weapon,” which featured Nick Sanborn and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso on backing vocals, and “Under the Water,” which had Meath on lead vocals. Both singles were released as part of Psychic Hotline’s Singles Series.

Duffy’s most recent album, Fun House, came out in 2021 via Saddle Creek.

Hand Habits Tour Dates:

5/3 - Solvang, CA @ Solvang Festival Theater *
5/19-21: Big Sur, CA @ Hipnic - SOLD OUT
6/15 - Healdsburg, CA @ Little Saint ^
6/17 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios ^
6/18 - Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt ^
6/20 - Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern ^
6/22 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel ^
6/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ Barnsdall Gallery Theatre ^
9/30 - Montreal, QC @ Théâtre Rialto (Pop Montreal)
10/15 - Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana
10/16 - London, UK @ Omeara
10/17 - Manchester, UK @ Gullivers
10/18 - Leeds, UK @ Mill Hill Chapel
10/19 - Glasgow, UK @ Hug & Pint

* w/ Tegan & Sara
^ w/ Gregory Uhlmann

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