The last couple of years have been busy for Meg Duffy, who has been a permanent touring member with Kevin Morby as well as releasing their debut album as Hand Habits in 2017. The following year saw Duffy writing and recording the follow-up in their new home of Los Angeles, and today comes the news of Hand Habits' second record, placeholder, due out on March 1st through Saddle Creek.

Although the new album was recorded with more collaborators and in a studio, Duffy's honesty and spellbinding songwriting is still intact; "A big aspect of my songwriting and the way I move through the world depends on my relationships with people. The songs on placeholder are about accountability and forgiveness," Meg says. "These are all real stories. I don't fictionalise much."

In the title track, which you can hear below, Duffy overlooks the wreckage of a broken-down relationship, shifting perspective from their own to that of their former partner. At first it seems Duffy is defeated as they bemoan "I was just a placeholder/ a place and nothing more," fearlessly cutting into their psyche as they sing "this is where I doubted you in endless compromise." However, it's not all self-punishment, as they deliver cutting judgements; "to say that you told me the truth is to tell each other lies." 'placeholder' seems like a fairly placid and stately alt-folk song at first, but further dives into Duffy's lyricism reveal a passion and hint of fury burning beneath, giving the guitars a hidden scorch and even allowing the glossed harmonies to wield a sinister edge. As the title and opening track for Hand Habits' new album, 'placeholder' sets up beautifully what should be an emotionally wrought but rewarding album.

Hand Habits' 'placeholder' comes with a video directed by Madeline Kenney, which you can watch below.

Hand Habits' new album placeholder comes out through Saddle Creek on March 1st.

Keep up with The 405's Tracks of the Day in our 2019 playlist, updated every weekday.