Meg Duffy aka Hand Habits recently announced their new album Placeholder (out March 1st on Saddle Creek) via the release of the contemplative title track, and they have quickly followed it up with another mentally contorting beauty 'can't calm down'. Speaking on the genesis of the track, Duffy says:

"This song took the longest lyrically for me to finish. I started it about three years ago and kept it in progress throughout different cycles of feeling. 'Ancestral damage' and learned behaviours and conditioning to react/hold and place certain emotions are patterns I'm interested in taking apart and understanding better. What can one do with rage? With pain? With sadness? And is it is possible to learn how to wipe away completely the knee jerk reactions to situations that are buried deep in one's DNA? And the role models that taught us how to behave, whether directly or residually...are they the ones who should be held responsible or is memory partially to blame?"

As evidenced by the above quote, there are plenty of elements at play in 'can't calm down', musically as well as emotionally, but Duffy's singular talent aligns them in a gorgeous way. The track begins in Hand Habits' typical gentle folk style, the perfect canvas for Duffy to arrange their nostalgic and worrying thoughts, illuminated from the edges by delicately tempestuous instrumentation. Later an electric guitar rises up from within, seemingly portraying the rising rage in our singer's breast. While the thought patterns described are unique to Duffy, there's hopefully not a single person out there who can't relate with the stoic central idea "what if I can't calm down?" It's a moment that urges you to self reflect within yet another emotionally engrossing track from Hand Habits.

Hand Habits' new album Placeholder is out March 1st via Saddle Creek. They'll be in the UK in May:

May 7th | Bristol, UK @ Crofters Right
May 8th | London, UK @ The Lexington
May 9th | Brighton, UK @ Great Escape Festival
May 11th | Leeds, UK @ Gold Sounds Festival
May 12th | Manchester, UK @ YES

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