In honor of the celebration of International Women’s Day, we are checking out groundbreaking female artist, Hand Habits, and her latest release, placeholder, a musical journey about the painful ebb and flow of lost love and heartache. The vocals are ghostlike and airy, much like the way singer Meg Duffy sings about the lovers of her past as figures that come and go like mist but leave their lingering scent. She sings to these past relationships as if they are still with her, but on the edge of letting go. The instruments are soft, yet steady like a heart that still beats amidst the pain.
It is an honest album that speaks of the raw pain and struggle of finding reconciliation after unexplained heartbreak. Though this album speaks of pain, it speaks softly with no angry words or angst-filled melodies. The fourth song on the track, “jessica,” speaks about the freedom that forgiveness brings, as Duffy sings softly about the difficult internal journey of getting to that place. “Triggered by tragedy/Feeling sorry for the uncertainty you blamed me for” she sings as she slowly recognizes the truth about the self-destructive patterns of unnecessary guilt. “Jessica, I forget/You shattered my reality/I forget/I do, I do forgive/I do, I do forget” are some of the last words of the song as she artfully settles on forgiving the ghost of lost loves past.
Placeholder brings to light the emotions that so many of us keep shadowed for fear of vulnerability. Duffy wraps us in her velvety vocals and fluid instrumentals to gently remind us that heartbreak doesn’t last forever, and the pain of emotional attachment is not a weakness, but just a simple reality of what it means to love.
Featured image retrieved from npr.org.