On Hand Habits’ sophomore LP, placeholder, Meg Duffy puts emotional expression, complex composition, and tonal ambiance in perfect balance. The music is in the vein of subdued indie rock and folk—rich, full, and bolstered by Duffy’s warmly layered vocal harmonies and dexterous guitar work, both acoustic and pedal steel. Songs like the dynamic “pacify” touch on recurring themes of challenges that lead to transition. The album wraps up with “the book on how to change part II,” with the final line, “The book on how to change never taught me anything,” leading into a brass brigade that brings catharsis, clarity, and completion. (5/5)
By Cindy Yogmas
placeholder was released March 1, 2019. This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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